Thursday 19 April 2018

Another former South Korean president charged with corruption

Lee Myung-bak’s indictment came three days after his successor Park Geun-hye was jailed.

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak, centre is transferred to a detention centre (Jung Yeon-je/Pool via AP)
Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak, centre is transferred to a detention centre (Jung Yeon-je/Pool via AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

South Korean prosecutors have indicted former president Lee Myung-bak on bribery, embezzlement and other charges.

Lee’s indictment came three days after his successor Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison for a separate corruption scandal.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said on Monday it has charged Lee with taking a total of 11 billion won (£7.3 million) in bribes from the country’s spy agency, Samsung and others.

Lee has also been charged with embezzling about 35 billion won (£23.3 million) of official funds from a private company he owned and evading corporate taxes totalling 3 billion won (£2 million).

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Commuters hear the news in Seoul (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

Lee was a Hyundai executive and a Seoul mayor before serving as president from 2008 to 2013.

Lee has been at a Seoul detention centre since his arrest last month.

Lee has previously accused the current liberal government of President Moon Jae-in of retaliating over the 2009 death of Mr Moon’s friend, liberal ex-president Roh Moo-hyun, who jumped to his death during a corruption investigation of his family.

Park, South Korea’s first female president, has also called herself a victim of “political revenge”. She has been refusing to attend court sessions since last October and did not show up for Friday’s verdict, citing an unspecified sickness.

Lee has also been refusing to undergo questioning since his arrest on March 22.

South Korea has taken a series of steps aimed at rooting out corruption in recent years.

Press Association

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