UPDATE : 2018.9.19 WED 10:37
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Prosecutors likely to question ex-President Lee in jail early this week

Prosecutors are expected to question former President Lee Myung-bak early this week, in what will be the first interrogation after his arrest last week over a string of corruption charges.

Lee was taken into custody on early Thursday, after a court issued an arrest warrant over 12 counts of corruption including bribery, abuse of power and embezzlement, following a five-month probe by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

He was escorted to the Seoul Eastern Detention Center and placed in a solitary cell.

Prosecutors chose not to question him the next day, as part of courtesy for the former head of state.

But they will likely conduct the questioning early this week, given that they have a tight schedule ahead of them before Lee's detention expires on April 10. Prosecutors have up to 20 days to hold him in custody.

The 76-year-old is accused of suspected of embezzling about 35 billion won (US$32 million) from a company that he is said to secretly own and of evading related taxes.

Other charges include abuse of power, breach of trust, illegally stashing presidential documents and a violation of election law.

If convicted of everything, he could face up to 45 years in prison.

Lee was president from 2008 to early 2013. Before that he served as Seoul mayor, a lawmaker and chief executive of Hyundai Engineering and Construction. (Yonhap)

Lee Sam-sun  edt@koreapost.com

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