Park Jie-won gets leave from jail for treatmentA key aide to former President Kim Dae-jung has been temporarily freed from jail for hospital treatment, prosecution officials said yesterday.
Park Jie-won, 64, was sentenced by the Supreme Court in September to three years in prison for receiving a total of 100 million won ($106,500) in bribes from two South Korean conglomerates, SK Group and Kumho Asiana Group, in return for business favors a few months ahead of the presidential elections in December 2002.
Mr. Park was also charged with abusing his power and violating domestic laws on foreign exchange trade and inter-Korean cooperation affairs while orchestrating covert money transfers by Hyundai to North Korea. As the former president’s chief of staff, Mr. Park played a pivotal role in arranging the summit between Mr. Kim and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang in June 2000. Hyundai transferred $500 million to the North just months before the summit, triggering criticism that Mr. Kim paid for the summit. Hyundai claimed the money was a payment for exclusive business rights in the country.
The former aide is suffering from glaucoma and heart problems, an official said.