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Ex-S.Korean president Lee Myung-bak indicted over corruption charges

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Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was indicted on Monday over corruption charges, including bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said in a statement that it has confirmed Lee is the real owner of DAS, a local auto parts manufacturer, through investigations for the past three months.

Through the DAS, which Lee allegedly illegally owned under borrowed names, the former leader embezzled about 34.9 billion won (32.7 million US dollars) and evading 3.1 billion won (2.9 million US dollars) in corporate tax by creating slash fund through accounting fraud and using business credit card for personal purpose.

While he was in office for five years to early 2013, Lee instructed senior government officials to actively support the DAS's legal action in the United States.

The former president allegedly took some 5.85 million US dollars in bribes from Samsung Group, the country's biggest family-controlled conglomerate, by making Samsung pay the US retaining fee on the DAS's behalf.

Lee is also believed to have received millions of US dollars in kickback from businessmen and politicians in exchange for political and business favors. The kickback included a special operation fund for the National Intelligence Service, the spy agency of South Korea.

Lee is also accused of illegally leaked and concealed 3,402 classified presidential documents at a building in Seoul, which is believed to be owned by the former president. The leaked documents included major evidences relevant to Lee's illegalities.

The prosecution office said it charged Lee with bribery, tax evasion, embezzlement and abuse of power as well as violations of the laws on presidential archives management and the political fund.

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