Lee apologizes for graft scandals involving brother, ex-aides

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Lee apologizes for graft scandals involving brother, ex-aides

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President Lee Myung-bak issued an apology to the public over the influence-peddling scandals involving his elder brother and key associates.In an abruptly called press conference at 2 p.m., Lee read a prepared statement to apologize to the people for troubling them with the “disgraceful scandals” involving his aides and family.

“Although I once thought it would be more appropriate to wait for the prosecution’s investigation outcome, I decided to stand here because frankly revealing my feelings before the people is the least of my duty,” Lee said.“I lower my head and offer my sincere apology to the people,” the president said as he dropped his head before the camera.

“There is no one to blame. It is all my fault.”Lee said he will accept all the criticism but won’t neglect his duty as the president to oversee state affairs. Offering his apology once more, Lee lowered his head again at the end of the press conference, which lasted about four minutes.

President Lee’s elder brother, Lee Sang-deuk, and his key associates have been accused of receiving bribes from businessmen seeking their influence. Earlier this month, the president’s brother was detained on charges of receiving bribes from two troubled savings banks and a conglomerate.

A long-time personal secretary of President Lee was also summoned to a warrant hearing this morning over suspicion of receiving bribes from savings banks. Other aides to the president had also been detained earlier this year on charges of receiving money from a real estate developer.

By Ser Myo-ja myoja@joongang.co.kr

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