South Korea pardons ex-president convicted of bribery

President Yoon Suk Yeol uses special powers to end prison terms of rival politicians.

South Korea pardons ex-president convicted of bribery

A former president convicted of bribery and embezzlement was pardoned on Tuesday in South Korea.

Lee Myung-bak was granted special clemency by President Yoon Suk Yeol alongside southern Gyeongsang province’s former Governor Kim Kyoung-soo and other figures from rival parties.

The 81-year-old Lee was in office between 2008 and 2013.

It is the second time since Yoon was inaugurated as the country’s president in May this year that he has granted special pardons.

Earlier in August, Yoon pardoned Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and other business tycoons.

The pardons granted today will be effective from Wednesday and Lee’s remaining 15-year jail term will be canceled, Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported..

He was convicted of bribery and embezzlement and given a 17-year prison sentence but was put on hold in June due to his illnesses.

Kim, the former governor, who was seen as close to Yoon’s predecessor Moon Jae-in, was convicted and given a two-year prison term over opinion-rigging charges.

He was set to walk free in the coming May. He, however, cannot run for the office until 2028.

Hüseyin Demir

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