Sun, Sep 16, 2007 - Page 9 News List

Criminal tycoons pampered in South Korea

By Kelly Olsen  /  AP , SEOUL

And Chung, convicted of embezzling the equivalent of more than US$100 million in company money to set up a slush fund, was told to follow through on a costly promise.

Last year he publicly vowed to donate 1 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) of his personal assets to society as the scandal over which he was eventually convicted was heating up.

Though Hyundai and Hanwha both welcomed the decisions, some in South Korea had bitter words for the country's judges.

"Instead of undoing injustice for the people, the judiciary simply patronizes the public," Hwang Sun, deputy spokesman of South Korea's Democratic Labor Party, said in a statement on his party's Web site.

"We knew that the judiciary was not fair to all, but these verdicts ... have surpassed the unimaginable," he wrote.

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