Former south Korean President park geun-hye, who has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for her role in the scandal, has asked prosecutors for permission to leave a detention center in Seoul because of severe back pain. However, the Seoul central district prosecutor's office decided Tuesday that "there is no reason why they cannot be executed in prison" and refused to approve park's application.
Park geun-hye has been held in a Seoul detention center since March 31, 2017, for condoning her close friend choi soon-sil to act in a pragmatic way, while being accused of corruption, malfeasance and collusion with officials and businesses. On April 17, this year, she was denied her first application for execution outside of prison. Ms. Park claimed at the time that symptoms, including pain in her neck and a herniated disc, left her with burning pain and unable to sleep normally. Although the prison authorities let her go for treatment, including treatment for a foot injury, back pain and oral care, they did not approve the former President's request to be released from prison. So Ms. Park had to return to her cell after seeing a doctor.
Former south Korean President park geun-hye, close friend choi soon-sil and samsung junior lee jae-yong.
Park geun-hye recently again cited "back pain", the application for execution outside the prison. The Seoul central district prosecutor's office sent staff to visit the detention center on Saturday. Seoul's central district attorney, bae seong-pham, ultimately decided not to approve, citing "medical information that would prevent her from serving time in prison." South Korea's criminal procedure law stipulates seven conditions for execution outside prison, including severe illness or life-threatening conditions, but prosecutors say Ms. Park's current condition does not apply.
Park geun-hye was sentenced to 25 years in prison and fined 20 billion won in the second trial of a close aide. But South Korea's Supreme Court sent the case back to Seoul's high court for retrial on February 29th. South Korean media have generally suggested that Ms. Park's sentence could be further increased by the court's order to separate bribery and abuse of power.
Although ms park has been unable to return home, lee myung-bak, the former south Korean President, who has been charged with 16 counts including bribery and embezzlement of public funds, managed to win the approval of the Seoul high court in March. Mr. Lee, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Seoul central district court in October, is still appealing the sentence, but in January sought medical parole on the grounds that sleep apnea could kill him.