21 February 2020
An appellate Court in Seoul revoked bail for former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and sent him back to prison to serve 17 years for bribery and financial embezzlement, the South Korean Yonhap news agency reported. He was also fined US$10.9 million and ordered to forfeit $5 million.
Myung-bak led South Korea from 2008 to 2013. He was arrested in March 2018 and sentenced to 15 years jail and ordered to pay $11 million fine. But the 78-year-old was released on bail in 2019 due to his health condition.
He was found guilty of creating slush funds of tens of millions of dollars and accepting bribes from Samsung Electronics in return for a presidential pardon for its Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was jailed for tax evasion.
He reportedly also misused the country’s intelligence agency’s funds and embezzled some $30 million in corporate funds from DAS, a car parts company allegedly owned by his brother.
Seoul’s Central District Court ordered a heavier sentence, saying Lee “did not show a sign of remorse or sense of responsibility” for his wrongdoings.
He instead blamed civil servants he worked with and Samsung employees, the court said. Several South Korean presidents have ended up in prison after leaving office, often as a result of investigations started by political rivals.
Lee’s successor Park Geun-hye is currently serving 32 years in jail for bribery and abuse of power. She was ousted in 2017 over a nationwide street protest.
The Manila Times reported.