Two years out of 25 served, ex-Korean President may be free from prison soon

Imprisoned former leader Park Geun-Hye requesting stay of jail term due to deteriorating health

File Photo, Oct. 17, 2017

File Photo, Oct. 17, 2017 (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The former president of the Republic of Korea, Park Guen Hye, has reportedly asked for her physical condition to be reviewed in hopes that her prison sentence will be stayed, permitting her to leave prison after a serving two years of her 25 year sentence.

According to reports, Park has been receiving regular treatment for back problems once every two weeks. In recent weeks her condition has reportedly deteriorated, with Park citing serious pain in her back and neck.

After a request made on April 17, state prosecutors and a former medical doctor reviewed her medical records and recent reports of her current condition. Their assessment will be sent to a seven member panel at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office for a determination on the appropriateness of the request.

If approved by the seven member panel, the Chief Prosecutor in Seoul must then agree to grant a stay on Park’s sentence. If granted, Park would be allowed to live outside of prison in order to seek necessary medical treatment on a regular basis.

The panel may make a determination on Park’s state of health within the next week reports, Korea Herald.

Park Geun-Hye was the President of South Korea from February 2013 until March 2017. She was charged and found guilty of abuse of power, bribery, and leaking national secrets in April, 2017, handing down a 24 year sentence, which was later increased to 25.

Park's doctor says she requires surgery and more extensive medical treatment to deal with her back problems. According to AP news, the request is only for temporary leave from prison, and Park, who is 67 years old, would be expected to return following her recovery.