Former S.Korean president at prosecutors' office

Lester Mason
March 14, 2018

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was questioned Wednesday over allegations of taking 11 billion won ($10.3 million) in bribes from corporations and institutions, including Samsung, Hyundai Motor, and the country's spy agency. Let's connect to our Kim Hyesung at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

South Korea's former president Lee Myung-bak arrives at the prosecutors' office in Seoul, March 14, 2018. Before entering the building, Lee stopped by the photo line to deliver his message to the nation. Most of all, I am sorry to the Korean citizens for causing concerns over matters related to me while the public livelihood is hard and the security environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula is very grave.

"I am standing here today with a devastated heart".

Lee also said he hopes for the day's event to be the "last in history". I again express my apologies.

Lee is the fifth former head of state to face investigation during his or her term, raising the question of whether too much power in the hands of the president lays the seeds for wrongdoing and feeds persistent political volatility in the system.

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

There was also a female protester who was prevented from getting too close to Lee's vehicle as he left.

Yes, there was a comment from lawmaker Kim Young-woo, - former defense minister during the Lee Myung-bak administration. "I feel painful and sorrowful to stand here".

Former conservative President Park Geun-hye, Lee's successor, was removed from office previous year for an influence-peddling scandal involving her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil. The entire session will be video-recorded as well. A second round began after lunch.

Lee made his way before hundreds of reporters waiting outside the prosecutors' office to ask him questions in the latest top-level political corruption scandal to rock the country. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison sentence for Park, who became the first democratically elected South Korean president to be ousted from office in 2017. A senior prosecutor told journalists that Lee will be treated with dignity but that the probe will be conducted thoroughly and transparently.

The questioning is likely to take some time as Lee is denying the allegations.

The interrogation itself could end before midnight, but most don't think Lee will be able to leave before tomorrow morning, after prosecutors take a look through their interrogation records through the night.

He was to be interrogated by three prosecutors and Yonhap news agency said the questioning - which will be videotaped - was expected to last around 20 hours, with prosecutors having prepared around 120 pages of questions relating to some 20 alleged offenses. Back to you, Devin.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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