Lee, a former Hyundai executive, served as the country's president between 2008 and 2013. He was arrested on charges of abuse of power, embezzlement, bribery and tax evasion in March 2018. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in October.
Lee's lawyers reportedly filed a request for his release on bail on January 29, citing, in particular, his ailing health, the Korea Times newspaper reported.
"By allowing release on bail, the arrest warrant will technically remain in effect and Lee can be sent back to the detention centre if he breaks any of the conditions," presiding Judge Jung Jun-young said, as cited by the newspaper.
Lee is not the only South Korean leader detained over corruption. His successor, Park Geun-hye, was impeached in December 2016 as a result of a bribery scandal and is currently serving her 25-year prison term.