The family of Chun Doo-hwan apologized on Tuesday for a 16-year failure to pay the disgraced former president's fine for corruption in office and announced a payment plan for the money he owes.
Chun still owes W167.2 billion (US$1=W1,085) of the W220.5 billion fine imposed by the Supreme Court in 1997 and has spent more than a decade living in luxury while claiming to be flat broke. His eldest son Chun Jae-kook (54) stood in front of the Seoul Central Prosecutor's Office and read out the apology as he bowed his head in front of throngs of reporters. "I apologize on behalf of our family for causing trouble concerning the payment of fines to the people," he said.
Chun claimed his father is willing to sell his home in Seoul's affluent Yeonhee-dong to pay the debt but pleaded for leniency, saying his parents "wish to spend the remaining days of their lives" in the palatial property.
"All of our family members will make our utmost efforts to cooperate with the authorities so the collection process can go smoothly until we pay off the whole fine," he said.
He then went straight into the prosecution building and submitted a detailed plan of how to pay back the money.
Prosecutors in an interim report on their investigation into the former president's slush fund said they seized a total of W170.3 billion worth of assets, including W9 billion from the ex-president and his wife, W55.8 billion from Chun Jae-kook and W56 billion from second son Jae-yong. The amount excludes collateralized assets used to take out loans.
The assets include Chun Doo-hwan's home, Jae-kook's estate just outside Seoul, an office building and another sprawling 700,000 sq.m piece of land in South Gyeongsang Province, land owned by second son Jae-yong in Osan south of Seoul, another piece of land in Gyeonggi Province owned by daughter Hyo-sun, and a building in Hannam-dong owned by third son Jae-man.
Prosecutor believe all of them were bought with the bribes and kickbacks Chun amassed during his decade in unelected office.