Published : 2013-08-16 20:11
Updated : 2013-08-16 20:11
Prosecutors said Friday they aim to collect most of unpaid fines amounting to 167.2 billion won ($149.6 million) from former President Chun Doo-hwan, who was convicted for taking bribes while in office in the 1980s.
Chun was ordered by the nation’s top court in 1997 to return to state coffers some 220 billion won he illegally accumulated through bribery from big businesses during his military rule in 1980-88. So far, the former dictator has paid only a quarter of the total, with some 167.2 billion won remaining unpaid.
“A goal of this investigation is basically to collect the total amount of the unpaid fines,” an official at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said. “The amount of the fines is not negotiable.”
The remarks came after Chun reportedly expressed his intention to pay the remainder of his unpaid fines voluntarily.
According to sources at the prosecution office, Chun’s lawyer indirectly conveyed Chun’s message Wednesday that the former president will make efforts to pay the fines.
“(Chun) has not directly conveyed his intention to pay the fines by showing us with something concrete,” the official said, adding that Chun should make an announcement to the people if he has the intention.
Chun, dogged by prosecutors for years, has refused to make the payment, saying he is nearly penniless.
Meanwhile, a court hearing to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for a brother-in-law of Chun on charges of illegally managing properties for the military dictator will be held on Monday, according to court officials.
Suspecting that Chun could have been managing the stashed money with bank accounts opened under the names of his relatives, prosecutors have been zeroing in on Chun and his family members.
Lee Chang-seok, a younger brother of former first lady Lee Soon-ja, is suspected of having evaded taxes in a land transaction, in which he sold his 460,000-square-meter land to Chun’s second son, Jae-yong, at a price of just one-tenth of an officially appraised price for the land in 2006.
Prosecutors suspect that the land might have been purchased with illegal funds from Chun. (Yonhap News)