November 03, 2020 09:21
Former President Lee Myung-bak returned to prison on Monday after the Supreme Court last week upheld a 17-year jail sentence and a W13 billion fine for corruption and embezzlement (US$1=W1,136).
According to his lawyer Kang Hoon, Lee (78) told aides before leaving his home for the Seoul Dongbu Detention Center, "Don't worry too much about me. I'll be back after faithfully serving my term."
"I will persevere in the firm belief that you can confine me, but you can't confine the truth," Lee added.
Lee was given a solitary cell on the 12th floor of the remand prison -- the same tiny cell he had had from when he was indicted in March 2018 until he was released on bail a year later.
Normally inmates are transferred to a regular penitentiary once their sentence is final, but given Lee's old age and status he is likely to serve his term in the remand prison.
Former presidents who are convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison are stripped of their privileges except a few security staff. That means Lee no longer receives a pension and free medical services for him and his family. But his wife, former first lady Kim Yoon-ok, will continue to be protected by the presidential security service.
Since Lee has already spent a year in jail, he is now up for release in 2036, when he will be 95.
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