Write a letter from a prison, the private residence of a former South Korean president auctioned by a court



Recently, a private house of former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was auctioned in Seoul for a mortgage fine. Lee and his wife have filed a proceeding seeking a suspension of the auction. Lee Seung-yuop also wrote to prison to express concern about the current situation in South Korea.

Lee was arrested three years ago on charges of corruption and bribery. In October 2020, a court sentenced him to 17 years in prison and a fine and recovery of 18.78 billion won ($ 16.6 million). The court confiscated Lee’s private home in Seoul because he did not pay the fine. On July 1, his residence was auctioned for 1115.6 billion won ($ 9.8 million).

In the first auction bid from June 28-30, there was only one valid and successful bid, and the transaction price was only 0.27 percent higher than the starting price.

On July 3, Lee and his wife filed a proceeding seeking a suspension of the auction, claiming that the couple jointly owned the house and that the government had only the right to auction half of Mr. Lee.

On June 30, a letter written by Lee Seung-yuop in prison in response to a young graduate of Korea University, Lee Seung-yuop’s alma mater, was published in the media and attracted public attention.

A graduate, now a plastic surgeon, wrote to Lee. In his letter, he criticized the incompetence of the current Moon Jae-in administration and expressed his admiration for the Lee Myung-bak administration and its national interests policy.

“This is because I didn’t do enough work, but I believe the truth will be revealed someday,” Lee said in his reply. “Most importantly, I’m sad. See what happened to this country,” Lee added. “We can see it with our own eyes. It takes a long time to build this wonderful country, but it only takes a moment to destroy it.”

Lee Myung-bak is currently 79 years old and will finish his 17-year sentence at the age of 95 in 2036. Prior to politics, he was president of the Hyundai Group, known as the “Chief Executive Officer.” Lee Seung-yuop was president of South Korea when the global financial crisis triggered by the US subprime mortgage crisis. South Korea was once thought to be the second bankrupt country after Iceland, but under the leadership of Prime Minister Lee, it became the fastest-recovering economy.

Although public support for the amnesty of Lee Myung-bak and his successor Park Geun-hye has increased since the beginning of 2021, the current South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, is still reluctant to issue an amnesty.

Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was impeached and arrested four years ago in a political scandal involving a “political trustee.” She still has 18 years in prison. Like Lee, the court confiscated her private residence for not paying the fine and will soon be auctioned off.

The two former presidents have not yet pleaded guilty to their alleged crimes in court.

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