South Korea’s appellate court sentences ex-president Lee to 17 years in jail over corruption

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A South Korean appellate court on Wednesday sentenced former President Lee Myung-bak to 17 years in jail over a set of corruptions, including bribery and embezzlement.

The Seoul High Court handed down the ruling on Lee, who served as the country’s head of state for five years from early 2008, fining him 13 billion won (10.9 million U.S. dollars).

It was heavier than the verdict by the lower court, which sentenced Lee to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors demanded a 20-year imprisonment with the fine of 15 billion won (12.6 million U.S. dollars).

Lee was taken to a prison again after being released on bail in March last year.

The former president was convicted of embezzling tens of millions of U.S. dollars from DAS, a lucrative auto parts maker that is believed to be owned by Lee under the borrowed names.

He was found guilty of receiving millions of U.S. dollars in bribes from Samsung Group, the country’s biggest family-controlled conglomerate.

The bribe was offered to pay lawyer fees for the auto parts company, which faced a legal case in the United States, in return for Lee’s presidential pardon to Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee. Enditem

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