Photo: Park Geun-hye. Credit: Saenuri Party.
South Korea's Ministry of Justice 법무부 announced that former president Park Geun-hye 박근혜 전 대통령, who had been in prison for over four years because of corruption charges, will receive a special new year's pardon for 2022.
Park was previously impeached in late 2016 and removed from office in March 2017, following a bizarre scandal involving her confidant Choi Soon-sil 최순실, the daughter of a shaman who claimed to communicate with Park's dead mother. Park had delegated much of her presidential duties to Choi, who peddled influence and received bribes on her behalf. Earlier this year on January 14, the Supreme Court 대법원 had confirmed Park's criminal sentence of 22 years in prison.
The Justice Ministry announced that Park received the special pardon "from the perspective of national reconciliation" 국민 대화합. Park, who is 69 years old, had been in and out of hospital several times in the recent days due to declining health.