Former South Korean President Goes Home After Serving Prison Sentence

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was finally heading home Thursday three months after being pardoned for one of the country’s worst government-corruption scandals.

“I express my greetings to our people for the first time in five years. My health has really improved, thanks to your worries,” Park said after being released from a hospital. 

According to reports, Park stopped by a cemetery and offered flowers and incense at the grave of her father, slain military dictator Park Chung-hee, and bowed quietly in tribute. 

Park was impeached by lawmakers in late 2016 and was formally removed from office and then arrested the following year for bribery and other crimes.

President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol was part of a special investigation team that indicted Park in 2017 for bribery, abuse of power, and extortion, establishing her as the central figure in an influence-peddling scandal that also involved a shadowy confidante and a billionaire Samsung heir.

Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong was initially sentenced to five years in prison on charges that he offered millions of dollars in bribes to Park while seeking government support for a 2015 merger between Samsung affiliates.

Lee later saw his term reduced before he was released on parole in August last year as the Moon’s government cited unspecified concerns over the economy.

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