Choi Eun-soonmother-in-law of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, has been provisionally released two months before completing her sentence.

Choi, the 77-year-old mother of first lady Kim Keon Hee, had been serving a year in prison since the appeals court convicted herin July of last year, for falsifying financial documents used in a land acquisition agreement.

She was accused of falsifying bank balance statements on four occasions to falsely show a bank deposit of 34.9 billion won (US$25.7 million) during the process of purchasing land in Seongnam, south of Seoul, in 2013.

After leaving the Seoul East Detention Center, in the southeast of the South Korean capital, Choi, who was wearing a lilac hat and scarf and covered her face with a mask, got into a car that was waiting for her, without answering the reporters’ questions.

About 30 people, including YouTubers and Choi supporters, were gathered at the detention center, and police had deployed more than 150 riot police around the area to prevent clashes.

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By law, incarcerated convicts can be eligible for pretrial release evaluation after serving at least one-third of their sentences.

Choi had been considered for a pretrial release evaluation at the March monthly session, but was determined unfit.

At the next session last month, the panel postponed its evaluation of Choi, automatically scheduling his reevaluation for May, when the nine-member committee granted approval unanimous for provisional release. He Justice Minister Park Sung-jaeapproved the decision the next day.

The provisional release took place almost two months before the scheduled date – July 20 – so Choi served around 82 percent of his sentence.


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