Ex-President Lee Arrested for Corruption

  • By Yoon Ju-heon

    March 23, 2018 09:34

    Former president Lee Myung-bak was arrested just after the midnight Thursday on charges of corruption.

    A court approved the arrest warrant eight days after he was grilled by prosecutors over allegations of bribery, embezzlement and amassing illegal slush funds. Lee is the fourth former president to be arrested. Prosecutors escorted him from his grace-and-favor residence in Gangnam late Thursday night and transported him to a remand jail on the outskirts of Seoul.

    He is being held in a different remand jail from the one where his successor Park Geun-hye awaits sentencing for corruption and abuse of power.

    Seoul Central District Court judge Park Beom-seok, who reviewed the arrest warrant, said there was a risk of "destruction of evidence considering the gravity of the crime and circumstances revealed during the investigation" that justify Lee's confinement.

    Former President Lee Myung-bak sits in a car in front of his house in Seoul on early Friday morning before being taken to a remand jail on the outskirts of Seoul.

    Lee is charged with taking W11 billion in bribes from Samsung in the form of legal fees the conglomerate paid to a U.S. law firm to help DAS, an automotive parts firm held for Lee by proxy (US$1=W1,076). He is also charged with embezzling W34.8 billion in slush funds from DAS, which is nominally owned by his brother.

    Lee did not appear in court as the judge reviewed the arrest warrant. He denies the charges.

    After his arrest warrant was issued, Lee posted a message on Facebook saying, "Rather than blaming others, I feel that I am at fault for everything and I also feel a sense of guilt. I hope that my arrest will ease the pain suffered by those who worked with me as well as their families.

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