January 18, 2018 10:20
Ex-president Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday claimed that an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption during his administration is "political retaliation."
"The investigation of former Cheong Wa Dae and government officials who worked with me has been targeting me from the beginning," Lee told reporters at a press conference.
"They only devoted themselves to public service, and I hold the full responsibility for anything that took place during my term. Don't hurt these innocent people but hold me accountable."
The statement came after two of Lee's closest aides were arrested for receiving bribes from the National Intelligence Service between 2008 and 2012.
He added, "Many people think that the ongoing investigation… is a political maneuver to destroy conservatives and retaliation for the death of former President Roh Moon-hyun."
Lee has long been accused of corruption in his four-rivers mega project. He left office under a cloud and kept out of the limelight but has not been prosecuted.
Roh committed suicide in 2009 while he was being investigated for allegations of bribery. The investigation was launched after Lee took office and many have accused him of prodding state prosecutors to probe Roh.
Lee merely read out his prepared statement at the press conference but refused to take questions from reporters.
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