South Korean ex-opposition leader’s attacker gets 15 years

by Admin
South Korean ex-opposition leader's attacker gets 15 years

SEOUL: The man who stabbed South Korea’s then-opposition leader Lee Jae-myung in January and left him hospitalised was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday (Jul 5), a regional court told AFP.

The attacker, identified by local media only by his surname Kim, pretended to be a supporter and stabbed Lee in the neck as the politician was surrounded by journalists at an event held in the southern port city of Busan on Jan 2.

Lee suffered a wound to his jugular vein and underwent emergency surgery, but recovered after being hospitalised for about a week.

The attacker, reportedly 67, was “sentenced to 15 years in prison today”, Lee Jae-hee, a spokesperson for the Busan District Court, told AFP.

Kim had been charged with attempted murder and election law violations as the attack took place about three months ahead of the Apr 10 parliamentary elections.

Police have said Kim meticulously planned the attack as he wanted to prevent Lee from “becoming president”.

In the April elections, South Korea’s conservative ruling party was dealt a crushing defeat by the Democratic Party (DP), led by Lee at the time.

Lee is widely expected to run for the leadership of the DP again at a party convention scheduled for August.

Several high-profile South Korean politicians have been attacked in public in the past.

Song Young-gil, who led the Democratic Party before Lee, was struck in the head with a blunt object in 2022.

And in 2006, Park Geun-hye, who became president in 2013, was attacked with a knife at a rally.

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