A probe of Chun Doo-hwan's hidden assets continues despite a pledge by the disgraced ex-president's family to pay the remainder of his massive fine for corruption. The Seoul Central Prosecutor's Office plans to question Chun's eldest son Jae-kook (54) on Friday to find out where his father's ill-gotten gains have gone.
Chun Jae-kook on Tuesday apologized to the public and pledged to pay the remaining W167.2 billion of the W220.5 billion (US$1=W1,085) fine imposed by the Supreme Court in 1997. A prosecution official said Jae-kook is being summoned primarily to discuss how he proposes to pay the remaining fine, but he will also be grilled about remaining suspicions regarding his father's slush fund.
The ex-president has claimed he is flat broke while his family has spent more than a decade living in luxury.
Prosecutors apparently decided to continue their investigation because there is strong public support for it and they do not want to leave any loose ends. Chun Jae-kook has promised to cooperate with prosecutors so that the investigation can be wrapped up smoothly.
He is suspected of helping his father launder his slush fund by buying real estate in the affluent Hannam-dong district of central Seoul in another person's name, and of setting up a paper company in an overseas tax haven to funnel an unspecified portion of the slush fund out of Korea.
Prosecutors will decide whether to arrest him depending on the information they can obtain from him, but the prevailing forecast is that he will escape jail because he has promised to pay up.