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Politics

South Korea to release jailed ex-president Lee temporarily: report

Health concerns bring 3-month suspension of 17-year sentence for corruption

Lee Myung-bak, a former South Korean president, arrives at the prosecutors' office in Seoul in 2018.   © Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) -- A South Korean district prosecutors office will temporarily release former president Lee Myung-bak from prison for three months on medical grounds, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday.

The Suwon District Prosecutors Office suspended 80-year-old Lee's imprisonment due to the state of his health, Yonhap reported, citing the prosecutors' office committee that had reviewed his request for suspension.

Lee cited his deteriorating health this month in petitioning for suspension of his 17-year sentence for corruption, embezzlement and bribery.

Lee, in office from 2008 to 2013, is the fourth former South Korean president to be jailed. His successor Park Geun-hye was imprisoned for her role in a separate corruption scandal that toppled her from power in early 2017 and also led to jail time for Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee.

Lee Myung-bak's jail term began in 2018, but he has sometimes been released temporarily for admission to a hospital.

He was excluded from presidential pardons by former President Moon Jae-in last year, which freed Park

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