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Govt. to grant over 3,000 pardons before New Year's Day

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
The government will pardon 3,024 people, mostly convicted of minor crimes related to jobs, ahead of New Year's Day, the justice ministry announced Tuesday.

The presidential clemency, effective as of Thursday, will also be granted to some protesters of military facilities and small-scale business owners involved in economic crimes. Politicians, election law violators, business tycoons and convicted felons are excluded from the list.

"The subjects of these pardons were selected in a way to help people's livelihoods and economic activities, as well as low-income citizens," Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae told a news conference at the government complex in Seoul.

"I expect they will become an opportunity for the people to unite and overcome economic difficulties caused by COVID-19," she added.

Most of the beneficiaries are violators of traffic, fisheries and other administrative regulations, and non-felony criminal offenders. A total of 2,920 such convicts will receive pardons, commutation of their sentences and reinstatement, the ministry said.

The list also includes 26 people involved in protests against the deployment of a US missile defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in the nation and the construction of a naval base on the southern island of Jeju.

The government will also offer amnesty to 52 owners of small and midsized businesses who committed economic crimes and another 25 people who are seriously ill or bringing up children in prison.

In addition, remission will be granted to about 1.12 million people who had their driver's licenses or fishing licenses canceled or suspended.

It will mark the fourth pardon issued by President Moon Jae-in since his inauguration in 2017. (Yonhap)