South Korea Pardons 7 Business Leaders

The New York Times, October 1 1997

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 30— South Korea announced an amnesty today for seven business leaders, including the chairmen of the Samsung and Daewoo groups, convicted of bribing the disgraced former President, Roh Tae Woo.

Justice Minister Kim Jong Koo said the clemency order was issued to help promote an economic recovery and national harmony. He said it ''will provide a chance for the heads of conglomerates to devote themselves to working for the recovery of the national economy.''

The South Korean economy has been hit hard by a series of corporate failures this year.

Jail sentences of between 1 1/2 years and 2 1/2 years were handed down to the seven heads of family-controlled companies last year but their sentences were suspended.

The business leaders were found guilty of contributing many millions of dollars to a slush fund amassed by Mr. Roh, who has been jailed for corruption, mutiny and treason.


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