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Former President Lee Myung Bak Arrested For Corruption

Former President Lee Myung Bak Arrested For Corruption

He is also suspected of embezzling about 35 billion won from a company that he is said to secretly own.

Last year, Lee's successor ex-president Park Geun-hye was ousted from office after an influence-peddling scandal and is standing trial on charges of bribery, abuse of power and coercion.

Myung-Bak was driven in a black saloon by prosecution authorities to the Seoul Eastern Detention Centre, where he was assigned to a solitary cell, Yonhap news agency reported. Prosecutors escorted him from his grace-and-favor residence in Gangnam late Thursday night and transported him to a remand jail on the outskirts of Seoul.

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Lee served as president for 5 years until 2013.

"I feel it's all my fault", Lee wrote in a Facebook post Thursday.

Seoul Central District Court judge Park Beom-seok, who reviewed the arrest warrant, said there was a risk of "destruction of evidence considering the gravity of the crime and circumstances revealed during the investigation" that justify Lee's confinement. South Korea has seen a string of former presidents end up under investigation by prosecutors for corruption after leaving office. She was dismissed by the Constitutional Court 21 days earlier.

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In exchange for the payment, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee is believed to have bought a presidential pardon in 2009 when the Samsung chairman, now in hospital, got a suspended jail sentence for tax evasion. He faces at least 18 charges of receiving bribes from businessmen and politicians, misappropriating secret operations funds from the country's main spy agency and generating a slush fund using a company registered under his family's name.

Samsung paid the legal fee on behalf of DAS, and Lee granted a pardon only to the Samsung chairman in December 2009.

In the United States, DAS filed a lawsuit against a former BBK president and received 14 billion won (US$13 million) in damages through the former BBK head's personal bank account in February 2011 when Lee was in office.

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"With my arrest, I just hope the suffering faced by my family members and those who worked easily somewhat", he said. As for the interrogation, the prosecutors this morning said there will be no questioning today, considering Lee's old age and the busy schedule of his first day of detention, which includes a medical examination, but said they will be visiting the detention center for questioning in the near future.