Prosecutors question S. Korea ex-president
SEOUL: Former president Lee Myung-bak appeared for questioning yesterday over allegations he took bribes when he was in office, following months of investigations into his family and acquaintances over the graft charges.
Lee made his way before hundreds of reporters waiting outside the prosecutors’ office to ask him questions in the latest toplevel political corruption scandal to rock the country.
“I stand before you today with a tragic heart. I offer my deepest apology to the people for causing worry amid times when the economy is in hardship and the situation surrounding the Korean peninsula is serious,” Lee said.
“I have much to say as a former president, but I should refrain from saying much.”
Lee faces almost 20 charges and the prosecution believes he took around 11 billion won unlawfully from a number of institutions and individuals, including the country’s National Intelligence Service and Samsung Group.
Prosecutors last month sought a 30year jail term for former president Park Geun-hye, Lee’s successor, who was ousted last year amid an influence-peddling scandal and is standing trial on charges of bribery, abuse of power and coercion.
Lee has denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation into the bribery allegations politically motivated by prosecutors under the incumbent liberal administration. The former president was in office from 2008 to 2013 before his successor, Park, won her presidency.