Korea prosecutors seek arrest of ex-president Lee

Lee Youn-taek arrives at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency Sunday

If the warrant is issued, Lee will become the 4th former South Korean president to be arrested.

According to the prosecution on Tuesday, the warrant request to arrest Lee submitted to a court the previous day, stated that the ex-president created 33-point-nine billion won in slush funds, laundering the money between January 1994 and March 2006. He's also accused of using false names to hide his ownership of the auto parts company DAS, which he allegedly used to accumulate slush funds worth almost 30 million dollars.

The hearing has been set for 10:30 a.m., Thursday, the Seoul Central District Court said.

The prosecutors questioned Lee last week on suspicion of bribery and other allegations. The court is expected to decide as soon as Thursday night, whether to issue the warrant.

Lee, who was in office from 2008 to 2013, is suspected of taking about 11 billion won ($10.3 million) in bribes from the state intelligence agency, businesses and others.

The likely arrest comes a year after Lee's successor, Park Geun-hye, was arrested on corruption charges following months of street protests.

"I stand here with a heavy heart", Lee said when he arrived at the prosecutors' office in Seoul last week, confronting a bank of television cameras.

The allegations against Lee include claims that the Samsung Group bought a presidential pardon in 2009 for its chairman Lee Kun-hee, who had been convicted of tax evasion and given a suspended jail sentence. He has previously called the investigation "political revenge" and denied the charges against him.

The ex-president denies known anything about it.

His close aide Kim Paik-joon, who is now standing trial over bribery linked to Lee, testified he received the illicit fund on behalf of Lee, and that the monk also appears to have admitted to his wrongdoing. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison term for her.

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