South Korea to pardon former President Lee Myung-bak for corruption

Tuesday, 27 December 2022 (21:53 IST)
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol's government will grant a special pardon to former President Lee Myung-bak, the Justice Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The Ministry said that Lee was among 1,373 convicts who will be pardoned Wednesday and Lee's pardon was in line with the government's efforts to promote national unity.
Lee serves less than three years of his 17-year term
Lee, who is 81-years-old, had been convicted for a range of corruption crimes in 2018, but was bailed out jail several months later.
He was then taken back into custody in 2020, after an appeals court handed down a 17-year jail term and canceled his bail.
Lee had been released temporarily from jail this June over health issues. President Yoon Suk Yeol, a fellow conservative politician who came to power this March, had expressed reluctance at keeping Lee behind bars.
South Korean leaders hit by string of corruption scandals
Lee rose to become one of the top executives of Hyundai after joining an entry-level job at the Group's construction arm in the mid-1960s.
He led the company's engineering and construction arm during the country's explosive economic growth in the late 80s and 90s, and won the presidential election in 2007 with a promise to boost economy.
Lee served as president between 2007 and 2013, and his corruption scandal erupted after his successor and fellow conservative Park Geun-ye was ousted and sentenced to jail over a separate corruption affair.
Lee was convicted in 2018 of taking bribes from big businesses including Samsung and embezzling funds from a company he owned before and during his presidency.
The scandals have deepened a national divide and drew attention to the cozy relationship between government and the country's business sector. (UNI)

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