SEOUL, April 19 (Korea Bizwire) – The corruption trial of former President Lee Myung-bak, who has been indicted over bribery, embezzlement and other charges, will start May 3, a Seoul court said Thursday.
Lee, president from 2008 to early 2013, was formally charged last Monday for committing a string of irregularities that largely center on his brother’s lucrative auto parts company, which Lee has long been suspected of controlling.
The first hearing will be a preparatory session between the state prosecutors and the defendant’s lawyer. Lee is not likely to be present in the courtroom.
Prosecutors indicted him on 16 counts of corruption, including the 11.1 billion-won (US$10.4 million) bribery charge. He’s also accused of taking kickbacks from a former bank chief, local businessman and former lawmaker.
Lee is suspected of embezzling about 35 billion won from the company and using the money for political and personal purposes. On Wednesday, the court granted the prosecution’s request to freeze his assets within the amount accused as bribes.
Lee, who’s been in pretrial detention since his arrest last month, has denied most of the charges against him.