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Ex-Prime Minister Han released from prison after two-year term for bribery

All Headlines 09:06 August 23, 2017

UIJEONGBU, South Korea, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- Former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook was released from prison early Wednesday after finishing up a two-year sentence for bribery.

Han, prime minister from 2006 to 2007, was put behind bars in 2015 after the Supreme Court convicted her of charges that she accepted about 900 million won (US$793,301) in illegal political funds from the head of a local construction company. The conviction also stripped her of her parliamentary seat.

On Wednesday, dozens of supporters and well-wishers greeted Han as she emerged from the prison in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, around 5:10 a.m. She was given a bouquet of flowers as supporters chanted her name.

"There have been harsh pains for the past two years, but I finally got to meet a new world," Han said after getting out of the prison. "I offer inexpressible words of thanks to all of you for coming all the way to Uijeongbu to greet me so early in the morning. ... It's because of the trust and love that you provided me with that I was able to overcome this hardship."

Han, 73, didn't take any questions.

Those greeting the former three-term lawmaker included her political allies, such as Rep. Moon Hee-sang, former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and former Justice Minister Kang Kum-sil.

Former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook (R) is greeted by supporters after her release from prison on Aug. 23, 2017. (Yonhap)

jschang@yna.co.kr
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