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Ex-President Lee Myung-bak granted stay of sentence

The prosecutors granted a stay of sentence for former President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
The prosecutors granted a stay of sentence for former President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Former President Lee Myung-bak, 81, was granted a stay of sentence due to his health concerns, Suwon prosecutors said Tuesday.

The Suwon prosecution service’s deliberation committee said in a press release that Lee was deemed to be “physically unfit” to be in jail, and that he would be granted a three-month break from his time. The deliberation committee decided that the ex-president could face “significant damage” to his health by continuing to serve in jail.

Lee has been jailed since November 2020 for corruption after the Supreme Court upheld the 17-year sentence given by a lower court. After being held at a Seoul detention center, he was moved to a prison in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, following COVID-19 outbreaks there.

Earlier this month Lee filed for a deliberation on putting his sentence on hold, citing health issues. While he was in jail, he had to be admitted to the hospital several times because of his health. His last request for a stay of sentence, filed in December 2020 over COVID-19 concerns, was dismissed.

Lee is currently at Seoul National University Hospital for health screenings.

According to the law, a stay of sentence is granted when the continuation of a sentence poses “significant risks to the health” of those sentenced, especially when they are of old age or pregnant.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)
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