South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced former president Lee Myung Bak to a 17-year prison term on embezzlement and bribery charges, national news agency Yonhap reported on Thursday.
In February, Seoul’s Central District Court increased the prison sentence on corruption charges for Lee, who ruled the country from 2008 until 2013, by two years to 17 years.
The lower court also imposed a new fine on the 78-year-old, also a former Seoul mayor, of about 13 billion Korean won (about 11 million euros) and ordered the seizure of assets worth 5.78 billion won.
Lee was arrested in October 2018 and initially sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of corruption, abuse of power, breach of trust and tax evasion.
He was released from prison in March 2019 due to deteriorating health.
When the appeals court ordered him sent back to prison almost a year later, he filed an injunction against the court’s decision to reject his bail request, Yonhap reported, adding that he will now be imprisoned upon the Supreme Court’s ruling.
He is said to have set up secret bank accounts and accepted bribes from smartphone market leader Samsung.
The conservative politician had called the accusations “political revenge” on part of the leftist liberal government.
His successor, Park Geun Hye, was also sentenced to prison on multiple charges in 2018, including abuse of power, bribery and leaking state secrets. She denies any wrongdoing.