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Ex-President Lee's son questioned in corruption probe

The son of former President Lee Myung-bak was questioned by prosecutors on Tuesday over suspected embezzlement and breach of trust in connection with an auto parts company that has long been alleged to be secretly owned by his father.

Lee Si-hyung, son of former President Lee Myung-bak, is shown in this file photo. (Yonhap)

Lee Si-hyung, son of former President Lee Myung-bak, is shown in this file photo. (Yonhap)

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said it has called in Lee Si-hyung for an interrogation.

It is the first time the junior Lee has been brought in for questioning since his father was arrested on March 23 over a string of corruption charges that include bribery, abuse of power and embezzlement. Prosecutors previously questioned Si-hyung in late February.

The charges against the former president, who ruled from 2008-early 2013, center on DAS, of which Lee Myung-bak is suspected of being the real owner even though, on paper, it belongs to his brother. Prosecutors believe Lee used the firm as a channel to stash away slush funds and commit other irregularities.

The younger Lee is accused of receiving various business favors from DAS. Prosecutors said they have obtained evidence that shows DAS' unlawful financial support for two firms run by him.

DAS is suspected of extending loans to one of Lee's companies that had recorded a negative net worth. Prosecutors also suspect Lee took out loans at low interest rates from two other firms that had ties to DAS.

Prosecutors believe the younger Lee was able to raise the funds because DAS is actually controlled by his father. Two officials who arranged the loans for Lee have been arrested.

The former president has denied the charges. Lee Si-hyung also denies any wrongdoing. Source from the Yonhap.

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