Former President Lee, ex-South Gyeongsang governor tapped for presidential pardons

SEOUL– The Ministry of Justice decided Friday to recommend year-end presidential pardons for former President Lee Myung-bak, former South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-so and other high-profile politicians, sources said.

The ministry’s amnesty review committee held a meeting and finalized the list of candidates for presidential clemency, which will be granted next Wednesday.

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon plans to report the list soon to President Yoon Suk Yeol, who is widely expected to accept the request at a Cabinet meeting slated for next Tuesday. The special pardons will take effect the following day, according to ministry officials.
Lee, whose 17-year sentence for corruption was suspended due to health issues, will be given pardon with reinstatement, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Kim, a close associate of former President Moon Jae-in, is likely to be paroled without reinstatement, which would bar him from running for elections until May 2028.

The former governor has been serving a two-year sentence on opinion-rigging charges, and his sentence is set to end in May next year.

Also on the list was Choi Kyung-hwan, a former finance minister who was given a five-year prison term in 2019 for corruption charges, according to the sources.

Three former National Intelligence Service chiefs, who were imprisoned for providing the agency’s off-the-book funds to former President Park Geun-hye’s aides, were also tapped for parole, they said. Won Sei-hoon, who served as the spy chief under former President Lee, is likely to be given the special pardon.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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