South Korea outgoing president Lee Myung-Bak issues controversial pardons
- LIVE: ISI supports LeT, JeM and Hizbul, David Headley tells court
- J&K govt formation: Ram Madhav to hold talks with Mehbooba Mufti to break impasse
- Soldier, who survived Siachen avalanche, being flown to Delhi hospital
- DDCA row: Delhi HC dismisses Kirti Azad's plea seeking court-monitored probe
- Net bad assets of govt banks a third of their net worth
South Korea's outgoing president Lee Myung-Bak today pardoned a host of former close aides and confidantes jailed for corruption, despite criticism from his successor.
The special pardons for 55 people included Lee's longtime confidante and former minister Choi See-Joong and friend and businessman Chun Shin-Il – both serving prison terms for bribery.
Former parliament speaker Park Hee-Tae and an ex-senior political affairs aide to Lee were also pardoned. Both were convicted last year for their roles in a vote-buying scandal in Lee's ruling conservative party.
The list did not include the president's elder brother, Lee Sang-Deuk, who was convicted and sentenced last week to two years in jail for corruption.
There had been speculation that his brother's case had been rushed through the court to make him eligible for a presidential pardon.
Lee's successor, president-elect Park Geun-Hye, had strongly criticised Lee's decision to issue the end-of-office pardons, and voiced particular disquiet about showing clemency to anyone convicted on corruption charges.
Park believed it amounted to "abusing the presidential power bestowed by the people" and "going against the will of the people," her spokeswoman Cho Yoon-sun said yesterday.
Lee and Park are both from the same conservative New Frontier Party.
- Government must resolve growing burden of non-performing assets
- Outrage over police assault on students is meaningless
- Right to a toilet: For the health, dignity and safety of women in slums
- Raja-Mandala: Maritime India versus Continental Delhi
- The Akhilesh-Mulayam duet
- We have turned our back to the intense food and drinking water distress