Former South Korean President Arrested for Corruption

Former President Lee Myung Bak Arrested On Corruption Charges

Korea now has two former presidents detained over corruption allegations after former President Lee Myung-bak was arrested on Thursday night.

After his arrest warrant was issued, Lee posted a message on Facebook saying, "Rather than blaming others, I feel that I am at fault for everything and I also feel a sense of guilt".

Prosecutors took Lee, 76, to the Seoul Eastern Detention Center from his home, Yonhap said, making him the country's fourth former president to be arrested on criminal charges.

Lee, who led the country from 2008 to 2013, is just the latest high-profile South Korean politician to find himself embroiled in legal woes. Park was detained on March 31 previous year for a series of corruption charges, including bribery, abuse of power and the leaking of state secrets.

Last month, prosecutors asked a Seoul court to sentence Ms. Park to 30 years in prison on charges of collecting or demanding $21 million in bribes from big businesses. He has accused the current liberal government of President Moon Jae In of trying to retaliate over the 2009 death of Moon's friend, liberal ex-President Roh Moo Hyun, who leapt to his death during a corruption investigation of his family. But the probe into him was halted after he committed suicide on May 23 of the same year.

Former President Lee Myung Bak Arrested On Corruption Charges
South Korea's ex-President Lee Myung-bak arrested over corruption allegations

Lee faces almost 20 charges that allege he unlawfully accepted $10.28 million.

In the three-page statement, Lee said that he tried to break away from corrupt old practices and realize clean and transparent politics, but it was still insufficient to meet the expectations of people today.

It also said Lee's son, Lee Si-hyung, embezzled some 472 million won from the company.

"Other charges include abuse of power, breach of trust, illegally stashing presidential documents and a violation of election law", Yonhap explains. And he released a statement expressing his party's regret at the development.

"Should living as a former president in this country be this hard?" said Chang Je-won, the party's spokesman. "I hope former President Lee will be the last victim of a political revenge". Normally suspects processed by the Seoul Central District Court are detained at the Seoul Detention Center in Gyeonggi-do Province, but the court made a decision to hold Lee at the Seoul Eastern Detention Center, considering another former president, Park Geun-hye, is being held at the Seoul Detention Center.

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