South Korean ex-president Lee granted bail in bribery case - InfoNews

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South Korean ex-president Lee granted bail in bribery case

March 05, 2019 - 10:17 PM

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - A South Korean court on Wednesday approved the release of former President Lee Myung-bak on 1 billion won ($885,000) bail during his ongoing corruption trial.

An official from the Seoul High Court said Wednesday that Lee was permitted to return home after he accepted strict monitoring conditions that resemble a house arrest, including a ban on meeting or communicating with people beyond direct family members and lawyers. The official didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

Lee's lawyers had called for his release, citing his age and what they described as deteriorating health.

Lee, 77, was arrested nearly a year ago and is on trial over allegations of bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion. He denied the accusations against him when he testified earlier in the trial.

Prosecutors are seeking a 15-year prison term if he is convicted.

Lee's conservative successor, Park Geun-hye, is also serving a lengthy prison term over a separate corruption scandal for which she was removed from office in 2017 following months of huge anti-government rallies.

Prosecutors said most of Lee's alleged crimes took place while he was president from 2008 to 2013 or when he was a candidate before winning the 2007 election.

The charges against Lee include taking about $10 million in bribes from business group Samsung, the country's spy agency and others. Prosecutors also say Lee embezzled about $30 million in funds from an auto parts company he owned and evaded about $280,000 in corporate taxes.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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