ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 30th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

President Lee Gives Pardons To Corrupt Political Allies

The news of these pardons will pretty much assure that Korean President Lee Myung-bak will go down in history as just being another example of a President turning a blind eye to corruption:

Outgoing President Lee Myung-bak issued special pardons to a long-time friend, close associates and dozens of others Tuesday, sparking angry complaints from his successor that he is abusing clemency power in his last days in office.

The clash threatened to bring back deep-rooted bad blood between the two erstwhile rivals at a time when they need to be closely cooperating on the power transition amid heightened tensions over concern North Korea could conduct its third nuclear test at any time.

Lee approved the pardons for 55 people in a Cabinet meeting, saying he tried to ensure the measure conforms to “law and principles” by creating a pardon review committee comprising many civilian members, according to presidential spokesman Park Jeong-ha.

“This is not an abuse of power. It was carried out according to law and procedures,” Lee said.

Those pardoned included Lee’s long-time friend Chun Shin-il and close political ally Choi See-joong, both of them convicted of bribery charges; former National Assembly Speaker Park Hee-tae; and Kim Hyo-jae, a former senior political affairs aide to Lee.  Park and Kim were convicted in a vote-buying scandal in a ruling party leadership election.[Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link.

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