Prosecutors are expected to decide this week whether to allow a stay of execution to former President Park Geun-hye, who is imprisoned for corruption.
Park has asked for a suspension of her imprisonment for "searing" back pain and other health issues, and prosecutors, together with doctors, plan to visit her at the Seoul Detention Center early this week to check her condition, and review medical and other records.
A seven-member panel of prosecutors and outside experts will then look into the case and come up with a recommendation with a majority vote. The chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office will make the final decision, but the panel's recommendation is usually endorsed, officials said.
"A decision could be made within this week," a prosecution official said.
Park has been sentenced to a 25-year prison term and a 20 billion-won ($17.7 million) fine from the appellate court for taking bribes and illegally using her influence in managing stage affairs, charges that led to her impeachment in 2017. The case is currently pending at the Supreme Court.
Separately, she was given a two-year sentence last year for illegally using her influence in the process of electing candidates for the then ruling Saenuri Party for the general election in 2016, while she was the president.
Legal experts said Park may not be able to win a stay of her sentence, given that the special suspension under the Criminal Procedure Law has never been granted for back pain in the past.
Even if it is granted, Park is likely to be confined to a hospital compound where she can get treatment, according to the experts. (Yonhap)