Warrant issued for former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  March 22, 2018 at 12:04 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter
Sign up for our weekly Korea Now newsletter
An exclusive report putting perspective on the week's most important developments.

March 22 (UPI) -- Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has been issued an arrest warrant after being charged with multiple counts of corruption.

The arrest warrant is the fourth of its kind to be issued to a former South Korean leader, local news service CBS No Cut News reported Thursday.

Lee, 76, faces a dozen charges, including accepting more than $10 million in bribes from Seoul's national intelligence service and powerful corporations, according to Yonhap.

The decision came late Thursday at 11:06 p.m. from Park Beom-seok, a judge with Seoul Central District Court.

Park said the arrest warrant is justified on account of the "seriousness of the crime" and "in the context in which it was investigated."

Lee has also been charged with embezzling more than $32 million that was then allocated to the "DAS" slush fund, according to No Cut News.

South Korean prosecutors submitted a 80,000-page document of evidence and argued in favor of detaining Lee in a 1,000-page statement.

Prosecutors say Lee is the ultimate proprietor of the DAS fund.

For the bribes he received he should receive at least a 11-year prison sentence, prosecutors argued.

Lee defended his legacy as president and former mayor of Seoul on Thursday in a Facebook post, local newspaper Kyunghyang Shinmun reported Thursday.

"I tried to pursue clean politics by isolating the wrong practices of the past," Lee said, adding his administration, which came to power the same year as the 2008 global financial crisis, implemented policies that prevented economic recession in South Korea.

Lee said he has "had a hard time" in the past 10 months, and added his family is "suffering" in the wake of the investigations into his case.

The former South Korean leader said "everything is my fault" in the handwritten social media post published on Thursday.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories
Photos