April 26, 2019 13:11
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Thursday rejected ex-President Park Geun-hye's petition for compassionate leave from jail so she can go to hospital.
Park's health condition "did not satisfy requirements for compassionate leave," a prosecutor said.
Park is serving a two-year prison sentence for meddling in her party's nominations for the 2016 general elections, while judgment in the appeal against her 25-year sentence for corruption, racketeering and a raft of other criminal offenses is pending.
She remains in a remand jail.
Her lawyer, Yoo Yeong-ha, had petitioned for her release, because she is suffering from "searing" back pain and other ailments.
On Monday morning, prosecutors visited the prison with doctors and independent observers to check up on Park and review her medical records. After deliberation, they recommended on Thursday that her petition be turned down, and chief prosecutor Yoon Seok-youl agreed.
Politicians' reactions were mixed. Lee Hae-sik, a spokesman for the ruling Minjoo Party, said, "The decision fits judicial process and national sentiment."
But splinters of Park’s old Saenuri Party rejected it as grossly unfair. Min Kyung-wook, a spokesman for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party said, "This regime has not one iota of compassion. It's a crying shame that they declined the petition."
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