Asia Briefs: S. Korea's ex-leader admits he took funds

S. Korea's ex-leader admits he took funds

SEOUL • Former South Korean president Lee Myung Bak has admitted to receiving US$100,000 (S$131,000) from the state spy agency while still in office, after he faced a marathon interrogation by prosecutors over corruption allegations.

Lee, 76, faces almost 20 charges and prosecutors believe he took about 11 billion won (S$13.5 million) unlawfully from a number of institutions and individuals.

He denied most of the charges but admitted taking the off-book funds from the National Intelligence Service via a presidential aide.


Criticising politicians a crime in Indonesia

JAKARTA • Indonesians could be jailed for criticising national politicians under a new law which came into force yesterday, in what critics slammed as a major step backwards for the world's third-biggest democracy.

The vaguely worded bill passed the 560-member house last month but has just become official, over the objections of President Joko Widodo who refused to sign off on the controversial legislation.

Mr Widodo does not have veto power over the bill, although it can be challenged at the Constitutional Court.


Tokyo told to pay new Fukushima damages

TOKYO • A Japanese court yesterday ordered the government to pay 110 million yen (S$1.4 million) in new damages over the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, ruling it should have predicted and avoided the meltdown.

The Kyoto district court ordered the government and power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay 110 local residents who had to leave the Fukushima region.

It was the third time the government has been ruled liable for the meltdown in eastern Japan, the world's most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Subscribe