Hyundai Motor forms committee to fulfill chairman's donation pledge
SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Monday it has set up a seven-member committee to fulfill Chairman Chung Mong-koo's promise to donate 1 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) to charity, contingent to a suspension early this month of his three-year prison sentence for embezzlement and breach of trust.
In what critics said was an extremely lenient ruling, an appeals court in Seoul suspended the jail term for Chung on Sept. 6 for five years, even though it upheld his convictions of embezzling tens of millions of dollars in company funds.
The ruling meant that the 69-year-old chairman will not be thrown back into jail as long as he remains clean during the next five years. In suspending the prison sentence, the Seoul High Court ordered Chung to fulfill the pledge of donations.
Before the latest ruling, Chung has pledged to make the donations by building a concert hall and other cultural centers nationwide over the next seven years, in a show of his will to atone for the corporate malfeasance crime.
The committee, consisted of prominent figures in business, academics and law, will be officially launched on Oct. 22 and plans to unveil details on how to make the donations in December, Hyundai said in a statement.