Ex-President Lee grilled over corruption allegations

Ex-President Lee grilled over corruption allegations

His successor was disgraced and faces 30 years in prison.

"I have much to say as a former president, but I keep telling myself I should refrain from saying much", he added. "I am very sorry for causing worry for the people". They are Kang Hoon, 64, a judge-turned-lawyer who also served as Lee's former presidential legal assistant, Pi Young-hyun, 48, and Kim Byung-cheol, 43.

Wednesday's summons comes after state prosecutors, over the past few months, questioned numerous figures around Lee including his son, nephew and brother, as well as presidential secretaries who worked with him during his term, from 2008 to 2013. Lee has previously called the investigation "political revenge" orchestrated by the current liberal government of President Moon Jae-in, a statement that prompted fury from Moon.

His immediate predecessor committed suicide.

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrives at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, in Seoul, South Korea, March 14, 2018.

Lee also said he hopes for the day's event to be the "last in history".

"This will boomerang" on Moon, he wrote on his Facebook account.

Kim, who served as senior secretary for administrative affairs to Lee, was arrested on January 17 over allegation of receiving more than 400 million won from the National Intelligence Service between 2008 and 2012 at Lee's order.

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Lee, accompanied by his defence lawyer, was received by a senior prosecutor and given tea before being ushered into room 1001, where Park underwent a marathon 21.5 hour questioning past year.

Wednesday's interrogation of Lee comes 358 days after ousted President Park appeared at the prosecution's office to be questioned on March 21 past year.

Prosecutors reportedly planned to seek an arrest warrant for Lee as early as this week.

Samsung reportedly paid six billion won ($5.6 million) in legal fees to a United States law firm on the former president's behalf.

According to reports, Lee is also accused of accepting 2.2 billion won from a former CEO of a state-financed banking group for helping him assume the post.

Chun was convicted of staging a military coup in 1979 to seize power after the death of longtime army dictator, Park Chung-hee, and of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars from local businessmen.

Lee is believed to have owned a large plot of land in southern Seoul and used the proceeds from its sale in 1995 to acquire stakes in the company.

The interrogation was expected to last around 20 hours, Yonhap said, with prosecutors having prepared around 120 pages of questions relating to some 20 alleged offences.

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