South Korea jails former president Lee for 15 years on corruption charges

South Korea jails former president Lee for 15 years on corruption charges

South Korea jails former president Lee for 15 years on corruption charges

Written by Reuters

05 Oct, 2018 | 4:22 pm

Reuters – A Seoul court on Friday (October 5) jailed former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak for 15 years for corruption, making him the latest in a string of high-profile political and business leaders ensnared by graft charges.

Lee, in office from 2008 to 2013, is the fourth former South Korean president to be jailed, with his successor Park Geun-hye imprisoned for her role in a separate corruption scandal that toppled her from power in early 2017 and also led to jail time for Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee.

Lee Myung-bak faced charges that he accepted around $10 million in illegal funds from institutions like Samsung and his own intelligence service, fuelling ongoing concerns over the cosy ties between government and business leaders.

The Seoul Central District Court found Lee guilty of embezzlement of about 24.6 billion won ($21.77 million) from a private auto parts maker headed by his brother, and accepting bribes from Samsung and others, fining Lee 13 billion won ($11.5 million) in addition to the jail sentence.

Lee, 76, has denied any wrongdoing, saying the investigation that led to the trial was politically motivated “revenge” by current President Moon Jae-in, who came to office vowing to clean house after the Park scandal and who has previously criticised Lee over an investigation into another former president, Roh Moo-hyun.

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