Hyundai boss Chung Mong-koo to get pardon

SEOUL — South Korea’s Ministry of Justice included Hyundai-Kia Chairman Chung Mong-koo among a list of 340,000 presidential pardons to be handed out on August 15, the 60th anniversary of the Republic of Korea’s founding.

Most of the pardons were for minor offenses. The presidential pardons are an annual ritual, done on the occasion of the national founding and other holidays.

Chung was arrested in 2006 for embezzling $100 million from Hyundai and its subsidiaries for a political slush fund but was given a suspended three-year sentence in September 2007.

Chung has been doing community service this summer in lieu of jail time.

Chung wasn’t the worst offending executive on the list. Kim Seung-youn, the chairman of Hanwha, a South Korean chemical conglomerate, was let off the hook for his suspended sentence. His offense? Assaulting bar workers in retaliation for beating up his son in 2007.

Aug. 12, 2008 | Automotive News