Anchor: South Korea's top court confirmed a 17-year prison sentence for former President Lee Myung-bak, on charges of embezzling over 25 billion won from an auto parts company, the ownership of which he has repeatedly denied, and receiving bribes of more than nine billion won. Lee is the country's fourth ex-president to be convicted on criminal charges.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: South Korea's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced former President Lee Myung-bak to 17 years in prison on bribery and embezzlement charges.
The top court also upheld a fine totaling 13 billion won and a forfeiture of five-point-78 billion won.
Lee has been on trial on charges of embezzling some 35 billion won from DAS, an auto parts company, and accepting about 16 billion won in bribes, including around 12 billion won from Samsung Electronics.
In October 2018, the Seoul Central District Court sentenced Lee to 15 years, after concluding that he, as the de facto owner of DAS, had embezzled more than 24 billion won from the firm and received eight-point-five billion won in bribes.
The court also recognized 400 million won in special activity fees from the National Intelligence Service(NIS) as a loss in state coffers and 100-thousand dollars delivered by the former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon as a bribe.
In February this year, an appellate court increased the prison term to 17 years, after the amount of bribes he was found guilty of increased to nine-point-four billion won and the amount of embezzlement to over 25 billion won.
Lee was released from confinement in February when he again appealed the revocation of his bail. He is expected to return to prison in two to three days.
In a statement released soon after the verdict, the ex-president slammed the decision as unfair and unjust, saying the rule of law had collapsed and that he worried for the nation's future.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.