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Chastened Hyundai Chairman Makes Charity Pledge in Bid for Clemency

It has become something of a South Korean tradition for companies and executives to make charitable contributions in a bid for clemency following a conviction. So it was not entirely unexpected that Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo on Monday promised a South Korean judge that he still plans to honor his year-old promise to donate $1.1 billion to charity.

hyundai genesisChairman Chung was on the hot seat in court this week as the judge quizzed him about his unfulfilled promise at an appeal hearing yesterday. The embattled executive was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this year for embezzlement and breach of trust. But he has been out on bail as he makes his appeal and continues to run the company.

"I have thought about it and I am glad to be given a chance to serve society," Chung said, according to Reuters.

Chung, who is one of the wealthiest men in South Korea, says he has made a $64 million cash donation to charity. He said he will donate the rest of the reparation gift by 2014 to fund an opera house in Seoul, other cultural facilities and environmental initiatives.

He was arrested in April 2006 on allegations that the automaker and its affiliates set up slush funds to pay for political favors.

© Source: insideline
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