+ A

Court freezes former President Lee’s assets

Apr 19,2018
A court on Wednesday approved prosecutors’ request to freeze the assets of former President Lee Myung-bak, who faces multiple charges of corruption.

The Seoul Central District Court said its decision forbids Lee from making any transactions on his assets, including property sales, until the court reaches a verdict on his case.

Prosecutors submitted a request last week to put about 11.1 billion won ($10.4 million) in assets on hold. The amount matches the bribes Lee is accused of receiving, mostly from the country’s spy agency and businesses.

Lee, who served as president from 2008 to 2013, was arrested last month and indicted last Monday on 16 charges involving bribery, abuse of power and embezzlement.

He is the country’s fourth former president to be arrested and put on trial for corruption.

Lee has been accused of taking bribes totaling about 11.1 billion won, including 700 million won from the National Intelligence Service and $5.85 million in legal expenses paid by Samsung Electronics on behalf of an auto parts maker that Lee allegedly owns.

Other bribes Lee is accused of receiving include 2.25 billion won from Lee Pal-seung, former chairman of Woori Finance Holdings; 500 million won from Daebo Group, a Seoul-based operator of highway rest stops; and 400 million won from Kim So-nam, a former lawmaker.

Prosecutors have also concluded that Lee is the real owner of the auto parts maker DAS. Lee is suspected of embezzling about 35 billion won from the company and using the money for political and personal purposes.

Yonhap