South Korea's Ex-President Lee Attends Corruption Trial
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak showed up at a Seoul court Wednesday to attend his corruption trial, marking the first public appearance in about two months after he was arrested over a string of charges, including bribery and embezzlement.
Clad in a dark suit, Lee was seen being escorted by a guard to the Seoul Central District Court. He held an envelope in his hands in what is presumed to be carrying his written statement for the court hearing.
He will be given about 10 minutes to speak in the courtroom, Yonhap news agency reported.
Lee, who was president from 2008-2013, was indicted on April 9 on 16 counts of corruption, making himself the country's fourth former leader to face trial. He was arrested in March and has been under presentencing detention.
He has been accused of accepting about 11.1 billion won (US$10.3 million) in bribes, including some 700 million won from the state spy agency and $5.85 million in lawsuit expenses Samsung Electronics paid on behalf of an auto parts company Lee is suspected of owning.
He has also been charged with taking kickbacks from a former head of a major financial firm and another businessman and a former lawmaker.
Lee is suspected of embezzling about 35 billion won from the auto parts firm DAS, and using the money for political and personal purposes.
Other charges he faces include tax evasion, abuse of power, breach of trust and leaking presidential documents.
Lee has denied most of the charges against him and has refused to meet with prosecutors at his detention center for additional questioning.
The first several minutes of Lee's trial will be revealed to public, as the court has granted local media the right to cover the trial before the hearing begins in earnest.