Former South Korean President Suspected of Bribery

Published: 07 March 2018

450px-Lee Myung-bak

Lee Myung-bak (Source: Henrik Hansson, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Katarina Sabados

A former South Korean president is being summoned on allegations of bribery by prosecutors currently investigating high-level political corruption in the country, Reuters reported Tuesday.

In the latest corruption scandal rocking the country, Lee Myung-bak, who served as president from 2008 to 2013, is being accused of accepting ₩2.2 billion (approximately US$2.2 million) from Lee Pal-sung for helping him become CEO of Woori Financial Group --a state-financed company.

Prosecutors also allege he took just under US$2 million from the country’s intelligence agency, and received kickbacks from lawmakers, and a construction company, according to the Japan Times.

Last month, prosecutors proposed a 30-year jail sentence for Myung-bak’s successor, former President Park Geun-hye who is currently standing trial on charges of bribery, abuse of power, and coercion.

Myung-bak is scheduled for questioning on March 14. The prosecutors expect him to show up and reveal the truth, according to Reuters. 

Another culprit in the extensive corruption investigation is Samsung electronics. Prosecutors raided their Seoul offices last month to look for evidence that the company funded DAS, an auto-parts business run by Lee’s family. Samsung has not released a comment.

This move to question Myung-bak means that all living former presidents of South Korea have now been involved in criminal investigations.

Myung-bak has denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation and actions by prosecutors politically motivated.