Former South Korean president commits suicide

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide on Saturday by falling from a mountainside behind his residence near Busan, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Roh was president from 2003 to 2008. He was under investigation over allegations that he and his family had received at least $6 million in bribes from a corrupt businessman while in office.


Roh, 62, left behind a brief suicide note, his lawyer said.  In the note written on his personal computer, Roh said he was going through "hard times," according to his aides.


"It has been too hard. I have made it difficult for so many people. I cannot even read books," Roh's note said.


The Busan National University Hospital, where the former president was rushed after his fall, announced that Roh arrived at its emergency room at 8:13 a.m. and died at 9:30 a.m. from external head injuries.


Roh had been living in Bongha Village, near Busan, some 450 kilometers south of Seoul.


"Roh left his home at 5:45 a.m. to go hiking. He appears to have jumped from a mountain rock at 6:40 a.m. He was accompanied by a bodyguard at that time," said Moon Jae-in, who had served as presidential chief of staff during the Roh presidency.


Roh and his wife, Kwon Yang-sook, were summoned by prosecutors last month to face grueling questioning over the bribery allegations. Prosecutors had said they would soon decide whether to seek an arrest warrant for the former president.





News Code 33913

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