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Suspect of the murder of lawyer caught in 22 years

Posted August. 21, 2021 07:27,   

Updated August. 21, 2021 07:27


The suspect of the murder of lawyer Lee Seung-yong, which had been a cold case for a long time, was caught by the police in 22 years.

The Jeju Special Self-governing Provincial Police Agency said on Friday that they arrested a man surnamed Kim (55) on the charge of inciting murder and applied for an arrest warrant. The police had already received a court warrant to arrest Kim in April and requested a red alert for Interpol. Kim, who had been staying in Cambodia as an illegal resident, was caught by local authorities in June and ordered a deportation, before being repatriated to Jeju Island on Aug. 18.

Lawyer Lee Seung-yong, who was 44 at the time of death, was found stabbed to death in his Sonata vehicle parked near the Jejubuk Elementary School in Jeju at around 6:48 a.m. on Nov. 5, 1999. The police set up a dedicated investigation team but could not catch the criminal. The investigation team was disbanded a year later, leaving the case unsolved for 22 years.

However, the case has attracted public attention again when Kim appeared on SBS’ Unanswered Questions in June last year and revealed that he was incited to murder. In the TV program, Kim claimed that he had received an order from a gangster leader Baek (died in 2008) to kill the lawyer and had Son (died in 2014), who was from Busan and nicknamed “Seagull,” to kill the lawyer.

Kim told the story on the TV program, thinking that the statute of limitations for his crime was over. The police, however, have arrested Kim on the grounds that the statute of limitations is suspended if a criminal fled abroad to avoid criminal punishment, and the so-called “Taewani Act,” which abolishes the statute of limitations for murder cases, has been enforced. When asked why he made the confession, Kim said he thought he would receive a reward from the bereaved family if he helped the wife of the deceased lawyer, who was the subject of the investigation at that time, clear herself of a charge, and lay the spirit to rest by explaining how he had died.

Jae-Young Im jy788@donga.com