Published: Thu, March 22, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Korea prosecutors seek arrest of ex-president Lee

Korea prosecutors seek arrest of ex-president Lee

Samsung is alleged to have paid 5 million US dollars of retaining fee, on Lee's behalf, in the United States for DAS, a South Korean auto parts maker which prosecutors said Lee owns under the names of his relatives.

Lee is suspected of granting a presidential pardon to Samsung's chairman in return.

South Korean prosecutors on Monday sought an arrest warrant for former President Lee Myung Bak over alleged bribery while in office, Yonhap News Agency said.

The arrest warrant request comes five days after Lee was summoned by the prosecution for questioning on March 14th, over charges of bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion.

Lee's predecessor Park Geun-Hye is now in jail pending a verdict in her bribery trial after being impeached a year ago over a corruption scandal.

Prosecutors investigating the case have reportedly been pitching strongly for an arrest warrant in light of the seriousness of the case and concern Lee could attempt to destroy evidence, such as manipulating witnesses, as he's been denying most of the charges.

The Seoul Central District Court said it will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:30 review the prosecution's request for an arrest warrant, JoongAng Ilbo reported. He reportedly then had Samsung pay the company's legal fees.

Lee will probably become the fourth former president to face criminal charges.

Lee is also accused of accepting millions of dollars from a former CEO of a state-financed banking group for helping him assume the post.

In particular, prosecutors have been looking into fresh suspicions that Lee received about 200 million won in bribes ahead of the 2007 presidential election from a Buddhist monk seeking Lee's influence in establishing a Buddhist university.

Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, former army generals who served through the 1980s to early 1990s, served jail terms in the 1990s for corruption and treason after leaving office. He says the investigation is political payback by the current government led by president Moon Jae-in.

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