Prosecutors seek to seize royalties from ex-president's memoir

 Prosecutors said Friday they have requested a court order to seize royalties from a memoir by former President Chun Doo-hwan, to collect part of his unpaid forfeit related to his bribery conviction in the 1990s.

Chun, who served as president from 1980 to 1988, published his memoir in April this year, and drew fire for mentioning his government's bloody crackdown on the 1980 pro-democracy uprising in the southern city of Gwangju, as a scheme led by North Korean troops and insisting that he was not involved in the brutal mass killings of Gwangju citizens. He also claimed the movement was quelled without the use of violence.

Last week, a local court granted an injunction against the sale of Chun's book and ordered its publisher to take out the distorted accounts.

The general-turned-president was convicted of bribery in 1996 in a trial for the massive corruption involving himself and his successor Roh Tae-woo. The court ordered him to forfeit some 220.5 billion won (US$192.3 million). He has so far paid 115.1 billion won, or about 52 percent of the amount, according to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

The prosecutors said the request for a writ of attachment on the book's royalties is to collect the remaining forfeit that Chun still has not paid.

The May 1980 uprising was led by thousands of Gwangju citizens who rose up against the military junta, led by Chun, who seized power in an internal coup following the assassination of his mentor, President Park Chung-hee, eight months earlier.

The junta sent tank-led paratroopers to ruthlessly shut down the uprising. More than 200 people were killed and 1,800 others wounded, according to the official data.

By Yonhap

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