SEOUL: Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was on Thursday arrested over corruption, the last of the country’s four living ex-leaders to be embroiled in a criminal inquiry.
The 76-year-old, business CEO-turned president -- who served from 2008 to 2013 -- faces multiple charges including bribery, power abuse, embezzlement, and tax evasion. He is the fourth surviving former South Korean leader to be detained over corruption.
Live TV footages showed Lee, wearing a dark coat with a tie, emerge from his house, shake hands with his former aides and get into a car with darkened windows. Afterwards, the car and a convoy led by police motorbikes were seen entering the Seoul Eastern Detention Centre. "I don’t blame others. All are my faults and I feel remorse", Lee said in a hand-written statement, a photograph of which was posted on his Facebook account.
"With my arrest, I just hope the suffering faced by my family members and those who worked with ease somewhat," he said. Lee, who denies most of the charges against him, will receive a brief health check before changing into a prison garb with an inmnate number and sleeping in an 11-square metre solitary cell, Yonhap news agency said.
Seoul Central District Court issued an arrest warrant for Lee earlier on Thursday, days after he underwent a marathon interrogation by prosecutors.