Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak leaves the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office after appearing before state prosecutors for questioning over a string of corruption charges including bribery in Seoul, South Korea, March 15, 2018. (Xinhua/Lee Sang-ho)
SEOUL, March 22 (Xinhua) -- A South Korean court on Thursday issued a warrant to arrest former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak over a series of corruption charges.
The Seoul Central District Court decided to put Lee, who served his five-year presidential term through early 2013, under custody as he denied almost all of alleged wrongdoings, and even basic facts found through an investigation.
The denial raised a possibility for destroying evidence, and many of Lee's offences were justifiable, the court said.
Lee posted a message in his social media account after the arrest decision, saying he is responsible for everything though he tried his best during his presidency.
Lee was summoned last week for questioning, and the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office requested a warrant Monday to arrest him for multiple charges, including bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion and slush fund creation.
The former president refused to present himself in the court to be arraigned, saying he already clarified his position while being grilled by prosecutors. The court made the detention decision by examining documentary evidences and testimonies provided by prosecutors.
Lee had awaited the court's decision at home in central Seoul. Investigators would soon take him to a detention center in southern Seoul.
Lee's arrest came about a year after former President Park Geun-hye, Lee's successor, was detained last March after her impeachment over an influence-peddling scandal involving her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil.
Prosecutors demanded 30 years in jail for Park, who was detained for her dismissal of all charges levied against her. A Seoul court will hand down a ruling on the country's first-ever impeached president next month.