Park to Pardon Convicts on Liberation Day

      July 12, 2016 11:55

      President Park Geun-hye will grant an amnesty on the 71st anniversary of liberation from the Japanese.

      Park told senior secretaries at Cheong Wa Dae that the amnesty aims to give convicts a second chance and achieve "national unity" in tough times.

      This will be her third amnesty and is expected to cause the usual controversy over pardons handed out to corporate bigwigs and politicians convicted of corruption.

      A presidential official claimed the government "has not yet considered" the inclusion of tycoons and politicians. But he added ominously that the Justice Ministry will make a list of those coming under the amnesty “according to procedures."

      It is likely that the bulk of those pardoned will be petty criminals like pickpockets or shoplifters who are scraping a living on the edge of poverty. But some business tycoons will likely also be pardoned under the pretext of stimulating the economy.

      In January 2014, Park pardoned only convicts involved in petty livelihood-related crimes. But in August last year she let off a full 14 business tycoons, including SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won, a notorious recidivist.

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