The disgraced former president was on a list of people receiving special amnesty, and "pardon was granted to heal social conflicts and restore the local community," says Justice Minister Park Beom-kye.
South Korea has pardoned former president Park Geun-hye, who is imprisoned over corruption charges, in a dramatic reprieve for the former leader who was jailed for 20 years in a sprawling corruption scandal.
Park was on a list of people receiving special amnesty, and "pardon was granted to heal social conflicts and restore the local community", Justice Minister Park Beom-kye told reporters on Friday.
Park became South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be thrown out of office when, in 2017, the Constitutional Court upheld a Parliament vote to impeach her over a scandal that also landed the heads of two conglomerates in jail.
She was brought down after being found guilty of colluding with a confidante to receive tens of billions of won from major conglomerates to help her family and fund nonprofit foundations she owned.
In January, South Korea's top court upheld a 20-year prison sentence for 69-years-old Park on the graft charges that led to her downfall, bringing an end to the legal process and for the first time raising the possibility of a pardon.
Ruling Democratic Party lawmakers have previously floated the idea of a pardon for Park and another ex-president, Lee Myung-bak, in the name of national unity.
Park has experienced health problems while in prison, including undergoing shoulder surgery, according to South Korean media.
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