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[Breaking] Ex-President Lee arrested on corruption charges

The courts on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for former President Lee Myung-bak, who is suspected of a string of allegations including bribery, embezzlement and power abuse. 

Ex-President Lee Myung-bak waves to his supporters before being taken to a Seoul detention house on Thursday night. (Yonhap)
Ex-President Lee Myung-bak waves to his supporters before being taken to a Seoul detention house on Thursday night. (Yonhap)

The allegations against him include bribery of some 11 billion won ($10.3 million) from the state spy agency, individuals and conglomerates, such as Samsung. 

The former president, who was in office from 2008 to 2013, is also viewed as the real owner of auto parts maker DAS, which has been involved in several irregularities, such as creating a slush fund totaling some 30 billion won.
 
(YTN live broadcast capture)
(YTN live broadcast capture)

In the 21-hour-long interrogation by the prosecution on Wednesday, Lee flatly denied his involvement in the wrongdoings, saying he was not aware of the incidents and that testimonies and evidence gathered by the prosecution have been fabricated.

Lee, however, admitted to receiving $100,000 from the state spy agency, which appears to have gone to his wife Kim Yoon-ok, but refused to reveal how the money was used.

Lee’s close aide Kim Paik-joon, who is currently standing trial over bribery linked to Lee, testified he received the illicit fund on behalf of Lee, and that the monk also appears to have admitted to his wrongdoing.
 
(Yonhap News TV capture)
(Yonhap News TV capture)

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)

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