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South Korea locks up another ex-president in cycle of revenge

17-year sentence upheld for Lee Myung-bak, fourth convicted former leader

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak appears for his trial in a court in Seoul during 2018. He has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- The Supreme Court of South Korea has upheld a 17-year prison sentence for Lee Myung-bak, the country's fourth president to be convicted of crimes after leaving office.

The court ruled Thursday that Lee had received 8.9 billion won ($7.85 million at current rates) in bribes from Samsung Electronics, in the form of legal fees for a settlement involving an auto parts maker essentially owned by the former president. In exchange, he pardoned Lee Kun-hee, the Samsung Electronics chairman who had been convicted of tax evasion, the court said.

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