“The owner of a media group should follow the law and proper order under a strict legal and moral standard,” Judge Yu Sang-jae of the Seoul Central District Court said in his ruling.
“The defendant, however, committed a host of crimes after disregarding the rule of law and clear accounting processes,” he added.
Court records showed that Chang siphoned off the money for his personal use and caused the group further financial losses by offering business benefits to his creditors.
Last year, the unionized reporters of the Hankook Ilbo asked the prosecution to investigate Chang for alleged corruption. The management responded by firing the daily’s editor-in-chief, banning most unionized reporters from entering the newsroom and withholding their salaries. (Yonhap)