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Fmr. president Lee Myung-bak appears before prosecutors on Wed., apologizes to nation Updated: 2018-03-14 18:08:36 KST

After investigating a number of close figures, Korea's state prosecutors are finally closing in on former president Lee Myung-bak -- who stands at the center of a string of corruption allegations.
The ex-president appeared at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office a little past 9:20 AM, after a 9-minute car ride from his residence in southern Seoul.

Before entering the prosecution building, the former president stopped in front of hundreds of press members to deliver a brief message to the nation.

"I'm sorry to have caused troubles amid the economic difficulties and the grave security situation, and I send my apologies to my supporters and to people experiencing difficulties. I have lots to share with people as the country's former president, but I know that I should keep my message short. In history, this should be the last such trouble. I again express my apologies."

Lee faces roughly 20 allegations in total, including bribery, creating slush funds and abuse of power.
Wednesday's summons comes after state prosecutors, over the past few months, questioned numerous figures around Lee including his son, nephew and brother, as well as presidential secretaries who worked with him during his term, from 2008 to 2013.
Lee's been firmly denying all charges against him and many see his short remark before the press on Wednesday morning as a direct criticism of the current administration's efforts to eradicate what is being called 'wrongdoings of the past.'

Lee Myung-bak's appearance at the prosecutors' office comes a year after former ousted president Park Geun-hye stood in the same place.
Lee is the fifth former president to be interrogated by state prosecutors.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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