Prosecution rejects Park’s request to leave jailThe prosecution on Thursday dismissed a petition by former President Park Geun-hye, now serving jail time for abuse of power and corruption, to suspend her sentence, saying her health conditions do not warrant receiving such a measure.
The decision was made by a committee under the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office tasked with deliberating on whether to grant suspensions of jail terms.
Park’s petition for the suspension was filed with the prosecutors’ office by her lawyer Yoo Young-ha on April 17, about two years after she was detained on March 31, 2017, over a corruption scandal that had led to her ouster from power.
Under the Criminal Procedure Act, the execution of a sentence can be suspended only if a convict’s health is harmed severely or cannot sustain their life. But the committee judged that Park’s case does not satisfy this clause.
The petition was filed as Park’s status was changed to that of a convicted prisoner on April 17 under the nation’s criminal code.
Yoo said in the petition that the 67-year-old former president’s cervical and lumbar disc symptoms have not improved at all and that she was not sleeping normally due to extreme physical pain.
On Monday, the prosecution sent two prosecutors with medical expertise to a detention center near Seoul where Park was imprisoned to conduct an on-the-scene examination of her health to confirm whether her heath was good enough for her to continue to stay at the prison.
Based on the examination, the committee decided that her health has not reached a level that makes prison life impossible for her.
Park was sentenced to a 25-year prison term and a 20 billion won ($17.7 million) fine after being convicted by local and appellate courts of power abuse and various corruption charges.
She was also sentenced to an additional six years in prison for coercing and accepting illegal funds from various government offices, including the National Intelligence Service.
Last November, Park received a two-year prison term for election law violations from a Seoul appellate court. Her cases are now pending at the Supreme Court.
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