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Ex-President Lee Myung-bak to be jailed again following Supreme Court's ruling in corruption case

All News 10:11 November 02, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- Former President Lee Myung-bak will be put behind bars again on Monday afternoon, following the Supreme Court's decision last week to confirm a 17-year jail sentence handed down by an appeals court in a corruption case.

The 78-year-old has been out of jail since February, as he appealed a court's decision to deny him bail.

The former president, who governed the country from 2008-2013, will be sent to Seoul Dongbu Detention Center, where he had served time for about a year after his arrest on March 22, 2018, in a 13.07-square-meter single cell.

His term will be 16 years, as he already served about one year behind bars.

Lee is expected to be in solitary confinement again this time, in a cell fitted with a television, a mirror, a table, a cabinet and a sink. A prison officer will be assigned to help him with his prison life out of deference to his former president status.

According to an official from the Ministry of Justice, there is a chance that the former president may serve his time in the detention center, given his age and underlying health conditions, rather than being transferred to a prison, in line with precedents applied to two former presidents, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld an appeals court's ruling that sentenced the 78-year-old to 17 years in jail and ordered him to pay 13 billion won (US$10.9 million) in fines and forfeit 5.7 billion won on embezzlement and bribery charges.

The top court also rejected Lee's appeal against a lower court's decision to cancel his bail.

He was convicted of embezzling 25.2 billion won from corporate funds of DAS, an auto parts company that he effectively owned, and accepting bribes totaling 9.4 billion won from companies, including Samsung Electronics Co.

A district court sentenced him to 15 years in jail in October 2018, making him the fourth ex-South Korean leader to be criminally convicted. Lee, however, was bailed out of jail five months later, citing health and other reasons. But he was jailed again in February this year after an appeals court handed down the 17-year term and canceled his bail.

He was released again six days later, after he challenged the cancellation and the court decided to suspend the execution of the jail sentence until the highest court's ruling on the appeal was made.

The file photo, taken Feb. 19, 2020, shows former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak greeting his supporters before attending his trial at the Seoul High Court. (Yonhap)


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