Arrest warrant issued for ex-South Korean President Lee over corruption

Mar 24, 2018, 07:04
Arrest warrant issued for ex-South Korean President Lee over corruption

At DAS, prosecutors suspect Lee created a slush fund worth 33.9 billion won, adjusted down from previous media reports of 35 billion won.

Prosecutors demanded 30 years in jail for Park, who was detained for her dismissal of all charges levied against her.

"Other charges include abuse of power, breach of trust, illegally stashing presidential documents and a violation of election law", Yonhap explains.

Mr Lee last week said he hopes "this is the last time in history" that a former president is victimised.

Picked up by prosecutors in front of his house in Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam District, southern Seoul, around midnight Thursday, Lee was jailed in a solitary cell at Seoul Dongbu Detention Center in Munjeong-dong, southern Seoul.

"I feel that all is my fault", Lee said in a handwritten statement posted to Facebook shortly after the warrant was issued, "and I 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.

A South Korean judge issued the arrest warrant late on Thursday, saying Mr Lee could destroy evidence.

The charge related to DAS dated back to 1999 when the company invested 19 billion won (US$17 million) in establishing investment consulting firm BBK, which faced a legal lawsuit for stock price manipulation in 2001.

The proposed revision deprives the president of the right to name the chief of the country's Constitutional Court, handing that decision over to the court's justices.

In exchange for the payment, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee is believed to have bought a presidential pardon in 2009 when the Samsung chairman, now in hospital, got a suspended jail sentence for tax evasion.

The prosecution's warrant application listed precise figures for the bribes that Lee allegedly accepted and the money that he allegedly embezzled.

Mr Lee was grilled by prosecutors earlier this month over almost 20 charges that involve suspicions he took around 11 billion won ($NZ14.2 million) unlawfully from a number of institutions and individuals He denies any wrongdoing.

Samsung allegedly paid six billion won (US$5.6 million) in legal fees to a United States law firm in instalments between 2007 and 2011 on Lee's behalf.

"Should living as a former president in this country be this hard?" said Chang Je-won, the party's spokesman.