9 April 2018
Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was indicted for corruption Monday (9 April 2018). He served as President of South Korea from 2008 to 2013. Before that, he was the CEO of Hyundai Engineering and Construction, as well as the mayor of Seoul from 1 July 2002, to 30 June 2006. He was charged with bribery, power abuse, embezzlement, and tax evasion, state prosecutors said in a statement. Yonhap news agency reported.
Prosecutors alleged that he accepted a total of $10.2 million in bribes between late 2007 and 2012. It was claimed that he gave a presidential pardon in 2009 for Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee, who had been convicted of tax evasion. The $10.2 million bribes mentioned above include $1.2 million of secret funds from the National Intelligence Agency, Lee allegedly pocketed, and $3.2 million Lee allegedly accepted from five different people, in return for policy favours.
Lee has also been charged with embezzling about $33 million in funds from DAS, his private auto parts company, and evading corporate taxes totalling 3 billion won ($281,270), according to the prosecutors. Prosecutors alleged that Samsung paid $5.8 million in legal expenses on behalf of his company, DAS.
Prosecutors are said to be considering indicting his wife, Kim Yoon-ok, over allegedly delivering millions of won to Lee from Woori Financial Holdings. The couple’s son Lee Si-hyung is also likely to stand trial over embezzlement and breach of duty in relation to DAS.
Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, former army generals who served as president through the 1980s to early 1990s, served jail terms for corruption and treason after leaving office. Both Chun and Roh received presidential pardons after serving about two years. Former president Roh Moo-hyun, leapt to his death during a corruption investigation of his family while Lee was in office.
Lee’s successor Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined millions of dollars last week for bribery and abuse of power. She is the daughter of the former dictator president Park Chung-hee who was assassinated by his own intelligence chief in 1979. She was ousted last year over a nationwide massive street protests.
South Korea: Former president Lee Myung Bak on bribery charges in court