Go to contents

Former Pres. Lee Myung-bak apologizes to public upon release

Former Pres. Lee Myung-bak apologizes to public upon release

Posted December. 31, 2022 07:24,   

Updated December. 31, 2022 07:24


Korea's former President Lee Myung-bak (aged 81) said Friday that he sincerely apologized for causing concerns to the people upon his release by special presidential pardon after serving prison time for four years and nine months. Lee was sentenced to 17 years by the Supreme Court in October 2020 for charges including embezzling 25.2 billion Korean won from DAS Corp., a Korean auto parts maker mainly owned by Mr. Lee's brother. Lee has been hospitalized at Seoul National University Hospital since June 2022, as his prison sentence was suspended due to health concerns. Lee headed home after he was discharged from the hospital on the day. President Yoon Suk Yeol reportedly wished Lee's recovery from illness during their phone conversation on the same day of his release.

Though quite lean, Lee looked relatively healthy when he arrived at his residence around 1:55 p.m. that day. He was in his wheelchair when released from the hospital but strolled without help when he arrived near his residence. In his dark grey coat, Lee shook hands with every single one of his supporters who were waiting for him, and several of them near the residence called out Lee's name rooting for him.

Former President Lee said he wanted to take this occasion to express gratitude to many of those out there, especially young people, who have supported him and prayed for him for the past five years. He added that he wanted to show support for the people and businessmen who have been struggling hard for the last three years due to COVID-19 and would do his part by praying for them and national prosperity.

On the day of his release, many pro-Lee figures, including senior advisor Lee Jae-oh to the ruling party and former presidential secretaries, gathered in front of Lee's residence. Several ruling party lawmakers, including Kwon Seong-dong had a private meeting with the former president inside his residence.

One of the participants to the meeting said that Lee received a phone call from President Yoon during the conversation and that Yoon wished Lee a quick recovery from illness.