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Lawmaker Allegedly Ordered Hit on Election Opponent

Posted May. 20, 2008 03:55,   


An incumbent lawmaker is alleged to have ordered the assassination of an elected provincial official nine years ago who was going to run against him in the 2000 general elections.

Prosecutors in the southern Seoul suburb of Suwon said yesterday that a complaint says the official might have been killed in 1999 by his election opponent, who is now a lawmaker.

The official bled in his bathroom and living room, had difficulty breathing and died on his way to the hospital.

His doctor concluded that the official died from breathing difficulty and hemoptysis. Police did not conduct an autopsy and concluded the cause of death was overwork based on statements from the deceased’s family.

A convict serving a life sentence for another murder, however, said he sent a letter to the official’s family in March saying, “I tried to kill [the official] at [his opponent’s] request. [The official] was enjoying stronger support from voters, and his opponent made such a request to me.”

After reading the letter, the official’s brother filed a complaint with prosecutors.

The alleged assassin told prosecutors, “I went to [the official’s] to kill him after getting the request from [his opponent], whom I met while serving in the Army. But I changed my mind and just hit him twice in the chest. I heard the news next day that he died. I’ve been feeling guilty ever since, and wrote the letter.”

Investigators reviewed the coroner’s data and statements from the official’s family but found no evidence to support the allegation. The case was transferred to the prosecutor in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, which will start an investigation when relevant documents arrive.

In Korea, the statute of limitations for murder is 15 years, while that for plotting to commit murder is seven years.