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(LEAD) Prosecutors indict ex-President Lee over corruption charges

All Headlines 14:23 April 09, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with indictment; CHANGES lead, headline)

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors indicted former President Lee Myung-bak on Monday on a string of corruption charges, including taking millions of dollars in bribes, making him South Korea's fourth former leader to face trial.

Lee, president from 2008-2013, has been in pretrial detention since his arrest last month on charges of bribery, abuse of power, embezzlement and other irregularities. He's the fourth former president to be arrested and put on trial after former Presidents Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo and Park Geun-hye.

The indictment comes days after Park was sentenced to 24 years in prison for corruption Friday.

Prosecutors indicted Lee with about 16 counts of corruption.

He has been accused of taking bribes totaling about 11.1 billion won (US$10.4 million), including some 700 million won from the state intelligence service and $5.85 million in lawsuit expenses Samsung Electronics paid on behalf of a car parts firm Lee is suspected of owning.

Other bribes Lee was accused of receiving included 2.25 billion won from Lee Pal-seung, a former chief of Woori Finance Holdings Co.; 500 million won from Daebo Group, a Seoul-based operator of expressway rest stops; and 400 million won from former lawmaker Kim So-nam.

Prosecutors have also concluded that Lee is the real owner of the car parts firm, DAS. Lee is suspected of embezzling about 35 billion won ($32 million) from the company and using the money for political and personal purposes.

Other charges include tax evasion, abuse of power, breach of trust, illegally shipping 3,402 presidential documents out of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae and stashing them at a private building, and a violation of the election law.

Prosecutors are looking into other suspicions and plan to press additional charges against him as soon as they are confirmed. They also plan to take steps to freeze Lee's personal assets to prevent him from disposing of assets gained from corruption.

Lee has denied most of the charges against him and has refused to meet with prosecutors visiting him at his detention center for additional questioning.

Former President Lee Myung-bak (Yonhap)

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