South Korea ex-president Park leaves jail for medical care

Published May 9, 2018, 2:26 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Agence France-Presse

Disgraced former South Korean president Park Geun-hye briefly left prison to receive medical care at a hospital in Seoul on Wednesday, a spokesman for the medical facility said.

Park was convicted of corruption and jailed for 24 years last month, completing a dramatic fall from grace for the country’s first female leader who became a figure of public fury and ridicule.

In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, arrives to attend a hearing on the extension of her detention at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File/Manila Bulletin)
In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, arrives to attend a hearing on the extension of her detention at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File/Manila Bulletin)

The 66-year-old has been allowed out of prison several times for treatment for ailments including a toe injury and backache and for dental care since her arrest in March last year.

Park arrived at the civilian hospital Seoul St. Mary’s accompanied by prison authorities, the spokesman said.

He declined to give further details but Yonhap news agency said she will be treated for her chronic back pain.

Park, who has boycotted all court hearings since October claiming unfair treatment, has waived her right to appeal against the lower court ruling.

However, prosecutors have argued the sentence was too lenient for Park and an appeals trial is expected to begin as early as this month.

Park’s immediate predecessor Lee Myung-bak is in custody while prosecutors investigate multiple corruption charges involving him and his relatives.

Both ex-presidents hail from the conservative Liberty Korea Party, which is running far behind the ruling centre-left Democratic Party in popularity ahead of local elections in June.

 
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