Korean President Lee Myung-bak sentenced to 15 years for corruption

Lamar Ellis
October 7, 2018

The Seoul Central District Court found Lee guilty of multiple corruption charges while confirming Lee's effective control of auto parts manufacturing company DAS, which Lee has always been associated with. Lee has denied all wrongdoing and called the case against him "political revenge".

As we know, Lee Myung-Bak was President of South Korea from 2008 to early 2013.

"His downfall closely mirrors that of former President Park Geun-hye, a conservative icon like Lee". She is serving a 33-year prison term.

The Seoul Central District court found Lee only responsible for about $21.7 million in embezzled funds, citing a lack of evidence from the prosecution for the full $35 million.

He was also fined 13 billion won ($11.5 million).

The court ruled that Lee had accepted bribes from some of South Korea's largest companies, including Samsung, and the country's intelligence service.

The court found that Lee had ordered officials there to create slush funds and partake in accounting irregularities.

Lee had "bitterly disappointed not only citizens who trusted and supported him but also our entire country", the court said during the televised verdict.

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He was protesting the fact the ruling was broadcast live.

Lee was also found guilty of accepting almost six billion won from Samsung Electronics in return for a presidential pardon for its chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was jailed for tax evasion.

Roh Moo-hyun jumped to his death in 2009 as his family was being investigated for corruption, and all three of Kim Dae-jung's sons were arrested or involved in scandals during his presidency, leading the Nobel Peace Prize victor to issue an apology at the end of his term.

Lee denied all the charges in the lead-up to the verdict, calling the testimony of DAS employees "a plot".

Former Presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo were convicted of corruption and other charges until they were pardoned by former President Kim Young-sam.

Lee was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and other charges.

Former President Lee Myung-bak walks towards the Seoul Central District Court to attend his corruption trial on September 6, 2018.

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