Corruption convictions continue for former South Korean leaders.
Just six months after Park Geun-hye was convicted on charges of corruption and abuse of power and sentenced to 25 years in prison, her predecessor, former President Lee Myung-bak has similarly been convicted on charges of bribery and embezzlement. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday.
The Seoul Central District Court convicted Lee of taking 6.1 billion won ($5.4 million) in bribes from Samsung, embezzling 24.6 billion won ($21.7 million) from a company he owned called DAS, and “causing losses to state coffers.” In addition to prison time, the court also fined Lee 13 billion won ($11.5 million).
Lee has denied “most” of the allegations, reports the Associated Press, and did not attend the hearing, citing both his health and the court’s decision to broadcast the session on national television. Lee has a week to appeal the ruling.
Park and Lee are not the only former leaders of South Korea who have been implicated in corruption scandals. Roh Moo-hyun jumped to his death in 2009 as his family was being investigated for corruption, and all three of Kim Dae-jung’s sons were arrested or involved in scandals during his presidency, leading the Nobel Peace Prize winner to issue an apology at the end of his term.