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Government to Grant Special Mass Amnesty

Posted August. 13, 2005 03:06,   


The government announced yesterday that it would grant special mass amnesty to a total of about 4.22 million people, including the cancellation of black marks some 3.70 million people have due to the violation of the Road Traffic Act, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

The scale of this pardon ranks fourth in its history following about seven million people in 1995, about 5.52 million in 1998 and about 4.80 million in 2002.

About 90,000 people whose driving licenses are scheduled to be suspended and cancelled will be exempted from the charges thanks to this pardon. In addition, since about 50,000 people who are under the suspension of their drivers’ licenses will be exempted from the remaining suspension period, they will be able to take the wheel after retrieving their licenses from police stations starting August 16.

About 340,000 people, who cannot apply for driving license tests for a year due to the cancellation of their drivers’ licenses, will be able to apply for those tests starting August 16.

The amnesty will go into effect at midnight on August 15. According to this pardon, some 1,055 people whose dooms will become null and void or who will be exempted from their sentences will be released from prisons or detention houses at 10:00 a.m. on August 14.

13 political figures who had been punished for being implicated in the illegal presidential campaign funds scandal, including former Uri Party lawmakers Cheong Dae-cheol and Lee Sang-soo, former Grand National Party lawmakers Kim Young-il and Shin Gyeong-sik and former leaders of the United Liberal Democrats Kim Jong-pil and Lee Han-dong, were also on the pardon list. On top of that, former president Kim Dae-jung’s two sons, Kim Hong-eop and Kim Hong-geol, were granted the special pardon and restoration of rights.

President Roh Moo-hyun’s close aides, Ahn Hi-jung, Yeo Taek-su and Choi Do-sul were excluded from the pardon list.

Among lawmakers who had been punished for being involved in the illegal presidential campaign funds scandal, former GNP Representative Seo Cheong-won was excluded because he did not pay 1.2 billion in fines and former president Kim Young-sam’s second son, Kim Hyun-cheol was also excluded.

Jin-Young Hwang buddy@donga.com