Libel trial against ex-President Chun expected to end

김나영 / 2021-11-23 14:27:19
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ex-president-libel trial
▲ This file photo shows South Korea's late former President Chun Doo-hwan. (Yonhap)

▲ This Aug. 9, 2021, file photo shows former President Chun Doo-hwan leaving a district court in Gwangju, about 330 kilometers southwest of Seoul, after attending a libel trial. (Yonhap)

ex-president-libel trial

Libel trial against ex-President Chun expected to end

GWANGJU, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) -- A libel trial against former President Chun Doo-hwan is expected to come to an end with his death Tuesday.

Chun has been on trial for allegedly defaming a late priest, Cho Pius, who claimed he witnessed Chun's troops shooting from helicopters at pro-democracy demonstrators in the southwestern city of Gwangju in 1980. Chun called the priest a "shameless liar" in his controversial memoir published in 2017.

In November last year, the Gwangju District Court sentenced Chun to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, over the charges. Both sides appealed the ruling, and the appeals trial has been under way since May.

The appellate court planned to deliver its ruling next week but is expected to close the case now that Chun has died.

Chun, who ruled South Korea from 1980-88 after seizing power through a 1979 military coup, died at the age of 90 at his home in western Seoul after battling chronic ailments, according to his aides.

His bloody crackdown on the Gwangju uprising remains one of the darkest chapters of South Korea's modern history. The crackdown left more than 200 dead and 1,800 others wounded, according to conservative official data.

In 1996, eight years after he stepped down as president, he was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison but pardoned the following year. He never officially apologized for ordering the crackdown on the uprising.

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