Another South Korean ex-president indicted for corruption

Days after former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, was jailed for 24 years for corruption, her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, has been formally indicted for corruption.

A state prosecutor in a statement said, Lee Myung-bak, who was detained last month, has been charged with bribery, power abuse, embezzlement, and tax evasion.

"We will thoroughly retrieve the criminal proceeds that
were accumulated by Lee through illegal means," prosecutor Han Dong-hoon told reporters.

Lee has denied any wrongdoing and has denounced the investigation as a "political revenge". He has refused being interrogated by prosecutors since his detention.

The allegations against Lee, according to prosecutors' documents, says he accepted a total 11 billion won ($10.2 million) in bribes between late 2007 when he was elected president and 2012, which includes claims that the Samsung Group bought a presidential pardon in 2009 for its chairman Lee Kun-hee, who had been convicted of tax evasion.

It also claims Lee diverted 1.7 billion won of secret funds from the country's spy agency into his pocket and accepting 3.5 billion won from five different people, including a Buddhist monk, in return for policy favours.

Prosecutors also separately claims he embezzled 35 billion won over 12 years between 1994 and 2006.

His trial is expected to begin next month and if found guilty of all allegations, he faces a sentence of life imprisonment.

In South Korea, past presidents usually ends up in prison once their political fivals take over power. The country's four living past presidents have now been charged or convicted for criminal offences.



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