The children of former President Chun Doo-hwan are likely to be summoned by the prosecution soon, after a court issued a warrant for the arrest their uncle who is suspected of assisting in the illegal inheritance of Chun’s fortune.
Seoul Central District Court on Monday reviewed the prosecution’s request to arrest Lee Chang-seok, Chun’s brother-in-law, on charges of evading taxes. He is suspected of evading about 13 billion won in taxes while making a shady business deal with Chun’s second son Jae-yong. The court’s decision was made later in the evening.
In 2006, Lee sold part of his property in Osan, Gyeonggi Province to his nephew at 2.8 billion won, substantially below the market price of about 30-40 billion won. The junior Chun reaped enormous profits after selling it for around the market price, according to reports.
If the court approves the prosecution’s warrant to arrest Lee, prosecutors could summon Chun Jae-yong for questioning possibly within this week.
The prosecution is looking into allegations that Lee’s property in Osan, in fact, belongs to Chun and cash made through a series of suspicious transactions had helped Chun’s children stay wealthy. According to reports, Lee has owned the property since 1984, when Chun was in power. Lee claimed that the land was inherited by his father.
Before appearing at court, Lee told reporters that he feels “sorry” although he denied all charges.
Lee told the court that the deal followed the legal process although he and his nephew finalized the deal after changing its price and condition several times.
“(The land) was sold at a proper price and it is impossible to hide the price because it was paid through bank accounts,” he said. Chun’s other children will soon become the prosecution’s next target, sources say.
Lee also had a hand in transferring wealth from former first lady Lee Soon-ja to her daughter Hyo-sun. He took property previously owned by his sister and sold it to her daughter.
Chun’s eldest son Jae-kook is also suspected of laundering his father’s slush funds through an account opened under the name of a paper company he established in the British Virgin Islands.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org