South Korean prosecutors demanded a one-year jail term Wednesday for the 27-year-old son of Hanwha Group chairman Kim Seung-youn for beating bar employees during his drunken rampage.
Kim Dong-sun, the 27-year-old third son of Hanwha's patriarch, was charged with assault. While drinking overnight a luxury Seoul bar on January 5, he allegedly wielded a whiskey bottle, hurled insults and beat bar employees. He was also accused of damaging the window of a patrol car and its seat covers.
At Wednesday's hearing, Kim appealed for mercy, saying he regrets and sincerely repents for his misconduct. "I deeply repent and promise not to commit a similar act. I will live life to the full." His lawyer argued that Kim's act was not premeditated while those beaten by him were fully compensated. The sentence will come on March 8.
The man's unruly acts fanned public anger and an internet outcry calling for harsh punishment. The case came on the heels of weekly anti-government rallies sparked by a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her aides. The scandal has exposed deep-rooted collusion between businessmen and politicians.
Kim Dong-sun teamed up with Chung Yoo-ra, the 21-year-old daughter of Park's crony jailed for siphoning off corporate money, to win a gold medal in the team dressage competition at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.
In 2010, he was accused of assaulting security guards after drinking in a hotel bar. Three people were injured but he was not indicted after paying settlement money apparently with the help of his father.
The Hanwha patriarch's children have been well-known for a series of misconduct. In 2007, the tycoon was convicted of abducting and clobbering Karaoke bar workers, watched by bodyguards to exact revenge for his second son who was beaten up at the bar.
In early 2014, the second son received a suspended jail sentence for smoking marijuana. The group boss has trained his eldest son and third-generation family member, Kim Dong-kwan, as heir to the throne.
Lim Chang-won = firstname.lastname@example.org