By Staff Reporter Kevin Kim of The Korea Post
The editorial of the main conservative Korean-language newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, on April 26, 2019, gives the impression that it was too harsh a decision against the now-detained former President Madam Park Geun-hye. The editorial, acknowledgedly representing the opinion of the rightist Koreans, poses a striking contrast with that of the progressives and the supporters of the government of President Moon Jae-in and his policies. The editorial was to the following effect in meaning, which may be superseded by an official one favored by the actual writer of the original.—Ed.
The Prosecution refused to suspend the sentence of former President Park Geun-hye. Sentence suspension is a temporary disposition by the Prosecution when there is a reason to believe that it is too harsh to enforce a continued sentence on a humanitarian level. It is neither to shorten one’s term nor to acquit the prisoner, but providing a sick leave for treatment for health purposes. Every year about 250 people are suspended for reasons such as sickness or old age. The residence is limited to hospitals and it is not possible to contact the personnel.
In the past, there were cases where suspension of a sentence was abused to avoid or escape confinement. But this isn’t the case for Park. She has been diagnosed and treated at the external hospital several times in the past, but her symptoms were not improving enough and stated "I cannot sleep due to pain." Park has never applied for bail, and there is no possibility of escaping or getting rid of any evidence. Officials, however, said Park did not ask for forgiveness nor apologize when Park applied for suspension.
Park is still being tried for the 'Choi Soon-sil Case' and the 'National Information System'. The Prosecution filed another warrant in the trial process to extend the detention period. She was perceived guilty and served for more than two years in detention. However, when the period of detention was over, she has to serve more time for confirmed wrongdoing. This may be a little harsh to say the least.
Park's imprisonment period until today aggregates to 757days. The time served has surpassed former President Chun Doo-hwan (751 days) and will be longer than former President Roh Tae-woo (768 days).
Decision for Park’s impeachment is no less than a death penalty for a politician. 33 years in prison were imposed during the trial even though she did not receive direct payment nor committed a heinous crime.
There has been much talk on the decisions made for the former president Park, which resulted in a division in people’s opinions leading to serious conflicts. The Prosecution's decision was not careful enough to consider these circumstances.