South Korea’s High Court ,on Thursday the 29th of October 2020, ratified a 17 -year prison jail term on Ex- president Lee Myung-bak on a range of corruption charges, a ruling that will send the former leader back behind bars.
Lee Myung-bak , who served as a president between 2008-2013 , had initially been sentenced to prison for 15 years in October 2018 by a Seoul district Court. He was alleged to have collected 8.5 billion Won’ in bribes from various sources when he was in office.
Most bribes were said to have come from Samsung, the Country’s largest aggregate firm. Ex President Lee was said to have granted Samsung’s Chairman at that time, an amnesty , that saw the Chairman retain membership on the International Olympics Committee and lead South Korea’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Lee was in the same year arrested for embezzlement of funds but had been out on bail awaiting the Supreme Court’s final say on his case which he had appealed.
The Thursday ruling upheld the 2018 verdict and added him 2 years saying the bribes he had taken were larger , summing to to a total of 9.4 billion Won. This is said to be the final ruling, no appeals are allowed on the verdict.
Former President Lee, 78 years, becomes the second South Korean President to be sentensed behind bars on corruption charges , after his successor , Park Guen-hye.
Park Guen-hye was impeached and ousted on charges of corruption and abuse of office in 2018. Park Guen-hye was given a 25 years jail term by an Appeal Court.