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Prosecutors Want Jail For Hyundai Chairman

State prosecutors demanded a six-year prison term for Chairman Chung Mong-koo after the Supreme Court ordered a resentencing in the auto tycoon's embezzlement conviction.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- State prosecutors demanded Tuesday a six-year prison term for Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo after the Supreme Court ordered a resentencing in the auto tycoon's embezzlement conviction.

The Seoul High Court last year suspended a three-year prison term handed to Chung by a lower court while upholding his guilty verdict for embezzlement and breach of trust. Prosecutors had originally sought six years.

The high court also ordered Chung to do public service in the form of delivering lectures and writing newspaper and magazine articles on lawful management, and to fulfill a promise to donate 1 trillion won ($957 million) of assets to society.

The court suspended Chung's prison term for five years, meaning he would not go to jail if he stays out of trouble during the period.

In their appeal to the Supreme Court, prosecutors said that lecture and writing were not proper activities for sentences involving community service. The top court last month agreed and sent the case back to the high court for a new sentence.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Yoon Dae-jin called Chung's case ''grave'' and said the high court should deal with it sternly.

Chung's lawyers pleaded with the new presiding judge to maintain the suspended three-year prison term, citing the executive's contribution to South Korea's economy and his importance to Hyundai's planned overseas investments.

''I will make my utmost efforts to ensure (Hyundai Motor) becomes a world-class corporation if I am given leniency,'' Chung said at the end of the hearing.

The new sentence was set to be handed down June 3, according to the court.

Chung was found guilty in February last year on charges that he raised a $100 million slush fund from affiliates. Prosecutors said much of the money was used to pay lobbyists to gain government favors and for personal use.

The presiding judge who handed down the suspended prison term said at the time that Chung was too important to the nation's economy to go to prison.

Hyundai Motor is South Korea's biggest automaker and a key driver of the world's 13th-largest economy. Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors Corp. together form the world's sixth-largest automative group.

Hyundai shares declined 1.3 percent Tuesday to close at 87,100 won ($83).

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