An appellate court on Wednesday delivered a heavier prison term of 17 years to former President Lee Myung-bak on bribery and embezzlement charges, and ordered the cancellation of bail permitted to him.
The prison term is higher than the 15 years of imprisonment that a lower court handed down in October 2018 to Lee who ruled the country from 2008-2013.
According to PM news, he was ordered to pay a fine of 13 billion won (US$10.9 million) and forfeit 5.78 billion won. The conviction brought Lee back into custody after he was released on bail on health concerns in March 2019.
He was charged with bribery and embezzlement in connection with his brother’s auto parts company DAS, becoming the fourth ex-South Korean leader to be criminally convicted.
A lower court found that Lee was the de-facto owner of DAS and that he used his presidential power to benefit the firm and himself, including accepting bribes from Samsung Electronics Co. in the form of retaining fees for DAS.
“The defendant ignored the duty and responsibility (that were imposed on the president) and made wrongdoings, such as accepting bribes from public servants or a private company,’’ said the Seoul High Court, the appellate court.