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Two former South Korean presidents convicted of corruption and treason walked out of prison Monday courtesy of the president-elect -- the man their martial-law government sentenced to death 17 years ago.

Once freed, the ex-military strongmen promptly criticized South Korea's flailing economy, implying that their civilian successor -- and not their regimes -- were to blame for the crumbling conglomerates and plunging stock prices.

Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo were convicted of pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes from business people while in office and of committing treason by leading a 1979 coup and a military crackdown the next year.

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