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Biz Execs Pardoned to Stimulate Economy

Posted August. 13, 2008 07:05,   


The government said yesterday that it will grant a large-scale pardon including special pardons, commutations and reinstatements, to 341,864 convicts such as businessmen, politicians and petty criminals.

This is the second amnesty granted by the Lee Myung-bak administration, with the first benefiting 2.82 million convicts June 4.

The list of people to be pardoned Friday includes 74 businessmen, 12 politicians, 10 government officials and 12 heads of provincial governments.

Also slated for pardon was Hyundai Kia Automotive Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo, who is implicated in a slush fund scandal; Glovis President Lee Ju-eun; Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn, who used violence for retaliation; and former Hanwha Resort auditor Kim Wook-gi.

Those getting their legal rights commuted or reinstated included SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won; former SK Group Chairman Sohn Kil-seung; Choi Won-suk, former chairman of the now-defunct Dong Ah Group; former Shindonga Group Chairman Choi Soon-young; and former Hyundai Engineering & Construction President Kim Yun-kyu.

President Lee said at a Cabinet meeting after approving the amnesty, “I gave serious thought to pardoning businessmen due to criticism and I personally think it undesirable. But I decided to do so because businessmen have difficulty in their overseas activities and investment confidence is plummeting.”

Presidential spokesperson Lee Dong-kwan said, “President Lee said the pardon means large companies should take this opportunity to expand investment through aggressive management and to share the burden with small and medium-size companies.”

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