S. Korea ex-president Park leaves jail for medical care

AFP
Disgraced former South Korean president Park Geun-hye briefly left prison to receive medical care at a hospital in Seoul on Wednesday.
AFP
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South Korean former President Park Geun-hye leaves a hospital in a wheelchair in Seoul, South Korea, on May 9, 2018, after being treated for back pain. 

Disgraced former South Korean president Park Geun-hye briefly left prison to receive medical care at a hospital in Seoul on Wednesday, a spokesman for the medical facility said.

Park was convicted of corruption and jailed for 24 years last month, completing a dramatic fall from grace for the country's first female leader who became a figure of public fury and ridicule.

The 66-year-old has been allowed out of prison several times for treatment for ailments including a toe injury and backache and for dental care since her arrest in March last year.

Park arrived at the civilian hospital Seoul St. Mary's accompanied by prison authorities, the spokesman said.

He declined to give further details but Yonhap news agency said she will be treated for her chronic back pain.

Park, who has boycotted all court hearings since October claiming unfair treatment, has waived her right to appeal against the lower court ruling.

However prosecutors have argued the sentence was too lenient for Park and an appeals trial is expected to begin as early as this month.

Park's immediate predecessor Lee Myung-bak is in custody while prosecutors investigate multiple corruption charges involving him and his relatives.

Both ex-presidents hail from the conservative Liberty Korea Party, which is running far behind the ruling center-left Democratic Party in popularity ahead of local elections in June.

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