GWANGJU, Former President Chun Doo-hwan will attend a hearing set for next week on a libel case involving his controversial memoirs on the 1980 pro-democracy uprising, his lawyer said Thursday.

"Former President Chun will attend the hearing on that day (Monday). He hasn't dodged it so far but couldn't attend because of health problems," Chung Joo-kyo told Yonhap over the phone.

The Gwangju District Court issued a subpoena against the 87-year-old Chun on Jan. 7 as he refused to show up at the court for a second time, citing his influenza. He refused to do so on Aug. 27 last year, citing Alzheimer's disease.

Chun, who served as president from 1980 to 1988, was indicted without detention in May last year on charges that his memoirs, published in 2017, disgraced the late activist priest Cho Chul-hyun.

The priest insisted during his life that he witnessed the military firing at citizens from helicopters during the bloody crackdown in 1980 on the uprising in Gwangju, 329 km south of Seoul.

Chun flatly denied the claim in his memoirs, calling Cho "Satan wearing a mask" and a "liar." Later, a relative of Cho filed a libel suit against him.

If convicted, Chun could face up to two years in prison or up to 5 million won (US$4,550) in fines.

Source: Yonhap news Agency