The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae plans to officially invite former President Lee Myung-bak to the opening and closing ceremonies of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, the office said Tuesday, amid a looming prosecution investigation against the former conservative leader.
The invitation will be delivered in-person on Wednesday by Han Byun-do, President Moon Jae-in's senior secretary for political affairs, a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters.
The move comes amid an apparently pending prosecutors' investigation against Lee over allegations of corruption.
A number of Lee's former aides have already been summoned on suspicions of accepting bribes from the National Intelligence Service during Lee's five-year term, which lasted from 2008-2013.
The prosecution earlier said they will likely summon the former president for questioning after the end of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, which will be held from Feb. 9-25.
Earlier, the former and current presidents exchanged verbal attacks after Lee labeled the ongoing probe against his former aides as political retaliation against the death of former leader Roh Moo-hyun, who is considered a close friend and political mentor of Moon.
In a rare show of emotion, President Moon expressed anger, also dismissing Lee's claim that prosecutors may be following orders from the presidential office as an insult to the judiciary branch that, he said, a former chief executive of the nation must not have said.