Ruling, minor parties view court’s ruling on ex-President Lee as ‘natural outcome’

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- The ruling and minor opposition parties on Friday assessed a court's decision to sentence former President Lee Myung-bak to 15 years in jail on multiple corruption charges as a "natural outcome."

"In light of public sentiment, the jail term is not seen as heavy, but we think that the court made a stern judgment on him," Lee Hae-sik, a spokesman for the ruling Democratic Party, said in a statement.

"Lee has never apologized for his wrongdoings and he did not appear in court today, showing that he is arrogant," he said. "We hope that Lee will deeply apologize to the public and regret what he did."

The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP) said that it felt awful as the president who should have been a model for people and officials committed such a terrible crime.

"The root cause for making a president involved in such crimes lies in an emperor-like presidential system," Kim Sam-Hwa, a spokeswoman for the BP, said. "The ruling should set the stage for overhauling the country's presidential system."

The minor Party for Democracy and Peace expressed regret that if the truth had been revealed before the 2007 presidential election, Lee would not have run for president.

"But it is a natural result that he was given a heavy sentence," the liberal party said.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) did not issue any statement. Lee was affiliated with the predecessor of the LKP.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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