Friday, October 05, 2018


Over at ROK Drop, there's a post saying conservative President Lee Myung-bak, already in jail for corruption, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. While I doubt he'll serve the entire term (same goes for Park Geun-hye), he'll still have to spend some time cooling his heels in the slammer. Here's the link, and here's an excerpt:

A Seoul court sentenced former President Lee Myung-bak to 15 years in jail for corruption Friday, making him the fourth ex-South Korean leader to be criminally convicted.

In the live televised trial, the court found the 76-year-old former leader guilty of bribery, embezzlement and other charges. He was ordered to pay 13 billion won (US$11.5 million) in fines and forfeit 8.2 billion won.

Lee, president from 2008-2013, was arrested on March 22 and indicted on April 9. Prosecutors demanded 20 years in prison on 16 counts of charges. The court convicted him of seven charges.

The court ruled that he embezzled 2.46 billion won from DAS, an auto parts company at the center of the scandal. It concluded, on the basis of testimony by Lee’s close aides, that he is the de facto owner of the company, disguising it as his brother’s company.

Lee denied the allegation he was the real owner of the company.

The court also ruled he accepted 5.9 billion won in bribes from Samsung Electronics Co. in the form of retaining fees for DAS.

Samsung paid the money seeking a presidential pardon for Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was jailed for tax evasion, it said.

Lee was also found guilty of receiving about 2.4 billion won in bribes from a financial company chief, a former intelligence agency chief and a former lawmaker.

GI Korea remarks:

President Lee says the charges brought against him were political retaliation for the corruption investigation brought against former President Roh Moo-hyun during President Lee’s time in office. Roh ended up committing suicide because of the investigation. The Chief of Staff for President Roh was current [p]resident Moon Jae-in.

I don’t know if the allegations against Lee are true or not, but what I do know is that the Korean left is happy to put him in jail, while at the same time championing Kim Jong-un, the dictator responsible for killing and injuring dozens of Korean citizens and being a general threat to regional peace. The Korean left even has Kim Jong-un’s image posted on the side of Seoul City Hall.

If Lee Myung-bak has been held responsible for his alleged crimes against Korea, then who is going to hold Kim Jong-un accountable for his crimes? Obviously[,] it will not be the Korean left.

I have mixed feelings about this. Korean politicians have a history of going after each other, and simply leaving the Blue House after a term in office is no guarantee of immunity from prosecution, as often seems to be the case in the USA when a corrupt official leaves the Capitol or the White House. While I'm sure Lee, like all politicians, was engaged in some level of corruption, I seriously doubt that anything he did was on the order of what Park Geun-hye and her witch-lady crony/handler, Choi Soon-shil, were accused of. Lee is probably right to claim that his sentence is little more than a form of payback.

At the same time, I'd love to see this sort of justice play out in the American theater because God knows there are plenty of US politicians (and people aiding and abetting those politicians) who deserve to spend years in prison. There's a good argument to be made that George W. Bush committed war crimes during the Iraq campaign and occupation (I was against that war); Bill Clinton certainly deserves to face justice for his numerous sins and depredations; Barack Obama's administration has managed to get away with much malfeasance in terms of abuse of authority, and the current crop of self-righteous, conniving Democrat senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee should probably all be dropped into a mile-deep pit and forgotten, along with several Republicans who have gone out of their way to obstruct the placing of Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. But the US isn't Korea, and people like Hillary Clinton, who really ought to be locked up for an untold number of crimes (many coming courtesy of her super-corrupt Clinton Foundation, with its secret ties to Saudi Arabia and Russia), will go scot-free.

Meanwhile, President Lee is going to jail. Unbelievable.

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