Former President Lee Myung-bak has appeared for the prosecution’s questioning over allegations of bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion among others.
After arriving at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office Wednesday morning, Lee apologized to the Korean public for causing concern.
[Sound bite: Former President Lee Myung-bak (Korean)]
“I am standing here today with a devastated heart. Most of all, I am very sorry to the Korean citizens for causing concerns over matters related to me while the public livelihood is difficult and the security environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula is very grave. I am sincerely sorry to the people who supported me and who are going through hard times because of me.”
“I have much to say as a former president but I promised myself to save my words. But I hope this will be the last time in history that this happens. Again, I would like to say to the public that I am sorry."
The former president is expected to deny the allegations against him, in particular the ones concerning bribery, as those convicted on charges involving more than 100 million won are subject to a minimum of ten years in prison or a maximum life sentence.
According to law officials on Tuesday, Lee is suspected of receiving about eleven billion won in bribes from the National Intelligence Service(NIS), Samsung Group and other companies.