Former South Korea president faces formal corruption charges

Former South Korea president faces formal corruption charges

South Korean prosecutors formally charged jailed ex-president Lee Myung-Bak [Reuters profile] on Monday with a slew of corruption charges, including bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power.

These charges make him the country’s fourth leader to face a criminal trial in almost two decades.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office [official website] has charged Lee with taking a total of 11 billion won (USD $10 million) in bribes from his intelligence agency and other business groups, including Samsung [corporate website].

Lee was arrested [JURIST report] last month, and the warrant allowed for prosecutors to detain Lee for up to 20 days before formally charging him.

If convicted on all charges, Lee could be sentenced to life in prison.

Last Friday, Lee’s successor Park Geun-hye was sentenced [JURIST report] to 24 years in prison in a separate corruption case that ultimately removed her from office.