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Court rules seizure of Chun's house illegal

By Bahk Eun-ji

A court ruled that the prosecution's decision to put former President Chun Doo-hwan's house up for auction was partly illegal.

Ex-President Chun Doo-hwan's residence in Yeonhui-dong, western Seoul / Korea Times file
Ex-President Chun Doo-hwan's residence in Yeonhui-dong, western Seoul / Korea Times file
The Seoul High Court ruling, made Friday, partially accepted the former president's claim and ruled that the main building and garden of his residence in Seoul were not assets purchased through illegal gains and thus not subject to the prosecution's seizure. However, the court judged that an annex of the residence can be seized.

In December 2018, the prosecution decided to seize Chun's residence in Seoul and put it up for public auction, as he had been refusing to follow a court order to forfeit 220 billion won ($197 million) connected to treason and bribery charges.

Then Chun's side filed a lawsuit objecting to the prosecutors' move, claiming the main building, garden and annex were registered not under Chun's name but under his wife, secretary and daughter-in-law, respectively, thus are not subject to seizure based on Chun's criminal charges.

"There is insufficient evidence to prove the main building and the garden were acquired through the money he had obtained through his illegal activities because they were first purchased before Chun became president," the court said in the ruling.

But it said the annex was bought with his slush funds even if it is currently registered under his daughter-in-law's name.

Chun, a former Army general, seized power in a 1979 coup and served as president from 1980 to 1988. He has been deprived of privileges as a former president due to his criminal punishment on treason and bribery charges and ordered by local courts to forfeit more than 220 billion won.
By Bahk Eun-ji

A court ruled that the prosecution's decision to put former President Chun Doo-hwan's house up for auction was partly illegal.

Ex-President Chun Doo-hwan's residence in Yeonhui-dong, western Seoul / Korea Times file
Ex-President Chun Doo-hwan's residence in Yeonhui-dong, western Seoul / Korea Times file
The Seoul High Court ruling, made Friday, partially accepted the former president's claim and ruled that the main building and garden of his residence in Seoul were not assets purchased through illegal gains and thus not subject to the prosecution's seizure. However, the court judged that an annex of the residence can be seized.

In December 2018, the prosecution decided to seize Chun's residence in Seoul and put it up for public auction, as he had been refusing to follow a court order to forfeit 220 billion won ($197 million) connected to treason and bribery charges.

Then Chun's side filed a lawsuit objecting to the prosecutors' move, claiming the main building, garden and annex were registered not under Chun's name but under his wife, secretary and daughter-in-law, respectively, thus are not subject to seizure based on Chun's criminal charges.

"There is insufficient evidence to prove the main building and the garden were acquired through the money he had obtained through his illegal activities because they were first purchased before Chun became president," the court said in the ruling.

But it said the annex was bought with his slush funds even if it is currently registered under his daughter-in-law's name.

Chun, a former Army general, seized power in a 1979 coup and served as president from 1980 to 1988. He has been deprived of privileges as a former president due to his criminal punishment on treason and bribery charges and ordered by local courts to forfeit more than 220 billion won.
Bahk Eun-ji ejb@koreatimes.co.kr


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