South Korean President Lee Myung Bak’s son was questioned by prosecutors today, three months after the leader apologized for “unfortunate incidents” surrounding his family.
Lee Si Hyung, the president’s only son, told reporters outside the special prosecutors’ office in Seoul that he would answer questions sincerely and truthfully. His arrival was broadcast live on YTN Television.
Lee was summoned over a now-suspended project to build a retirement home for his father that may have been financed with taxpayer money, according to a report by Yonhap News. Prosecutors are pursuing corruption cases against former presidential aides, ministers, officials of South Korea’s ruling New Frontier Party and members of the president’s family.
Lee Si Hyung didn’t answer directly when asked by reporters today if he had been acting on instructions from his father in relation to the project. Presidential spokeswoman Lee Miyon declined to comment when contacted by telephone.
One of the president’s brothers, former lawmaker Lee Sang Deuk, was indicted in July for his alleged involvement in a savings bank bribery scandal. Another brother, Lee Sang Eun, was allegedly involved in transactions related to the retirement-home project, according to the Yonhap report. Lee’s single five-year term as president ends in February.
“I caused the public much concern in recent days with unfortunate incidents happening around me and in my family,” President Lee said in a four-minute televised speech on July 24, without elaborating. “I apologize deeply and will take full responsibility.”