The Park Geun-hye government will grant special pardons to nearly 6,000 people, mostly convicted of minor and poverty-related crimes, the Ministry of Justice said Tuesday.
Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said at a news briefing that 5,924 people would benefit from the special pardon proposal for Lunar New Year’s Day.
This year’s list will exclude high-profile businessmen, politicians and those convicted of violent crimes, Hwang added.
In addition to the 6,000 people, penalties for some 2.88 million traffic violators, except for those convicted of drunk driving, will be voided, the minister said.
This is the first case of Park carrying out special pardons since she took office last year.
Park has been reluctant to grant special pardons, saying that it would benefit the privileged who were convicted of crimes.
She also vowed to exercise the right strictly based on principle. Under the Constitution, the president has the right to grant special pardons.
It has been carried out for convicted citizens usually ahead of major public holidays such as Liberation Day on Aug. 15 and traditional holidays like Lunar New Year’s Day.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)