Prosecutors in South Korea on Monday indicted former President Lee Myung-bak on various charges including corruption. The 76-year-old could be jailed for life if he is convicted of all the charges, according to Yonhap news agency.
Lee, a former businessman, was president between 2008 and 2013. He has been accused of accepting 11 billion won (Rs 66.4 crore) in bribes between 2007 and 2012, including a bribe for a presidential pardon in 2009 for Samsung Group’s chairman who was convicted of tax evasion, AFP reported. Lee is also accused of embezzling 35 billion won (Rs 211 crore) between 1994 and 2006.
His indictment came three days after a court sentenced his successor and the country’s first woman leader, Park Geun-hye, to 24 years in prison for abuse of power, corruption and bribery. All four living former presidents of South Korea have now been charged for or convicted of criminal offences.
Apart from bribery and embezzlement, Lee also faces charges of abuse of power and tax evasion, prosecutors said. “We will thoroughly retrieve the criminal proceeds that were accumulated by Lee through illegal means,” prosecutor Han Dong-hoon said. The trial is expected to start in May.
Lee has denied any wrongdoing and has called the investigation “political revenge”.