By Hyonhee Shin
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean prosecutors have called former President Lee Myung-bak to appear for questioning over allegations he took bribes when in office, a prosecutor said on Tuesday in the latest top-level political corruption scandal to rock the country.
Prosecutors last month sought a 30-year jail term for former President Park Geun-hye, Lee’s successor, who was ousted last year amid an influence-peddling scandal and is standing trial on charges of bribery, abuse of power and coercion.
Lee was asked to present himself for questioning on March 14, the senior prosecutor said.
“We must question (Lee) to reveal the truth”, the prosecutor told reporters.
“We expect him to show up since we gave sufficient time for him to prepare for the questioning”.
Lee has denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation into the bribery allegations, summoning his family and confidants and raiding their homes and offices, politically motivated.
Lee was not immediately reachable for comment on Tuesday.
Last month, Seoul prosecutors searched the offices of Samsung Electronics as part of the investigation, the prosecutors’ office said.
They were looking for possible evidence that Samsung provided financial support for an auto parts maker run by Lee’s family and allegedly controlled by him, the prosecutors’ office said. Samsung has said it has no official comment.
The heir to parent Samsung Group, Jay Y. Lee, was freed last month with a suspended jail sentence on bribery and embezzlement charges linked to the Park corruption case.
(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Nick Macfie)