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Ex-President Goes On Trial In Seoul

Disgraced former President Roh Tae-woo, the first former South Korean leader to face criminal action for wrongdoing in office, went on trial today on corruption charges.

The 63-year-old former army general, unsmiling and wearing white padded winter clothes with prison No. 1437 stitched on his right chest, was led into a courtroom packed with 200 families and journalists.

Roh, president from 1988 to 1993, faces corruption charges for taking bribes for a $650 million slush fund he established during his five-year term. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.

Roh’s immediate predecessor, Chun Doo-hwan, is also in jail, accused of masterminding a 1979 coup.