South Korean court orders sentence against Hyundai chief reviewed

Other News Materials 11 April 2008 19:11 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - South Korea's Supreme Court on Friday ordered a lower court to re-examine the sentence it handed down to Hyundai Motor chairman Chung Mong Koo for embezzling money from South Korea's largest automaker, Yonhap news agency reported.

Last September the Seoul High Court convicted Chung of embezzlement, but gave South Korea's richest man five years probation, setting aside the sentence of three years in prison handed down in February by a lower court. Prosecutors had sought six years jail.

Chung, 70, has been ordered by the court to give lectures to businessmen and submit articles to newspapers on the importance of management abiding by the law, reported Yonhap. He also pledged to donate up to 1 billion dollars to charity.

Prosecutors appealed the community service part of the sentence and on Friday the Supreme Court called on the lower court to re- examine its sentence.

"It is not clear what the ruling exactly means by speeches and articles," the Supreme Court said, ordering the lower court to deliver a "lawful and appropriate" sentence.

Chung was found guilty of breach of trust and embezzlement of 90 billion won (96 million dollars). The court found Hyundai funnelled money into slush funds that were used to bribe politicians and government officials and give undeclared bonuses to employees.

The tycoon has stayed on as head of the world's sixth-largest automaker.