Lee Jae-myung criticized for defending his murderer nephew

Lee Jae-myung criticized for defending his murderer nephew
Former Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung, presidential nominee for the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (Joint Press Corps)The presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Party of Korea is facing growing criticism for defending a nephew who brutally killed two women and for later downplaying the case, with the opposition questioning his fitness to hold office.

Lee Jae-myung is a qualified lawyer in South Korea, having passed the bar exam in 1986, and he served as a defense attorney for his nephew when he was accused of murdering his girlfriend and her mother in 2006.

But the fact that Lee defended his nephew in court is not the main focus of the criticism. The candidate has instead been denounced for referring to the murders as an unfortunate case of “dating violence” when apologizing to the victims, despite the brutal nature of the crimes.

Kim Byong-joon — the top campaign official for the main opposition People Power Party’s presidential nominee, Yoon Seok-youl — denounced Lee in a press briefing Sunday.

“The murder case he defended was not a usual murder case,” Kim said. “It was a grotesque case of (the defendant) stabbing the two people 18 and 19 times each for a total of 37. How can there be a mistake or misstatement in defining the nature of this case?”

On Wednesday, Lee had said in a Facebook post, “One of my family members committed a serious dating violence crime in the past, but his family could not afford an attorney, so I had to provide defense for the case as I was the only attorney among his relatives.

“I hesitated a lot as I already was a politician then, but it was hard to avoid the job.”

His comments caused an uproar after it was found that the widely publicized murder case involved Lee’s nephew barging into his girlfriend’s home in Gangdong-gu, eastern Seoul, and brutally murdering her and her mother in May 2006.

The Supreme Court upheld a life sentence for Lee’s nephew in 2007.

A member of the victims’ family criticized Lee and his nephew Friday in an interview with the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, saying he felt heartbroken hearing Lee refer to the murders as a case of dating violence and that the candidate had never contacted him once to offer an apology or his condolences.

Lee apologized shortly after the interview was published, saying he had never attempted to hide or downplay the case and had used a “clumsy expression.”

The presidential candidate has also faced criticism for citing the defendant’s mental illness in appealing for lenience, when he himself has publicly criticized the practice of reducing sentences on health grounds.

“How could an attorney engaging in politics use ‘physical and mental illness’ as a defense tactic?” Kim from the People Power Party said in the Sunday briefing.

“The difference between a general on a battlefield and a politician is that a general must win but a politician must win in the right way. He is not qualified to serve as a political leader.”

The Constitution states that punishment can be mitigated when an offender is unable to exercise good judgment or self-control because of a mental disorder.

Lee and the Democratic Party have not made any official response to the criticism. Past records show that Lee has repeatedly cited mental illness as part of his defense tactics in other criminal trials.

A year after the Gangdong-gu murder case, Lee served as one of two defense attorneys in a murder case in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, where a man stabbed his ex-girlfriend eight times and killed her in front of her daughter.

The defendant was sentenced to 15 years in prison and is set to be released in August 2022.

Court records show that Lee argued the defendant was heavily intoxicated during the crime and lacked the ability to make sound judgments. The defendant prepared pesticides and a sashimi knife before committing the murder.

While Lee explained that he had defended his nephew due to their family relationship, local statutes provide for the defense of accused people who can’t pay.

Lee’s nephew could have obtained a state-appointed attorney as guaranteed under the Constitution, which states that the court can appoint a defense counsel for a criminal defendant if requested “because of poverty or for any other reason.”

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Korea's contradictory nuclear energy policy raises eyebrows

Wolseong 1 nuclear reactor in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. Korea Times file Gov’t eager to shut down nuclear plants, while seeking to build many abroad By Lee Kyung-min The Moon ... Read more »

Korean stocks tumble after declines on Wall Street

An electronic board set up at a dealing room of Hana Bank in Seoul indicates stock falls on Monday. The benchmark KOSPI closed down 1.49 percent at 2,792, the lowest ... Read more »

Osstem Implant's trading suspension likely to continue following embezzlement

The Osstem Implant logo is seen at its headquarters in Seoul. Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung The Korea Exchange will decide Monday afternoon whether to uphold the suspension on trading of ... Read more »

Extra budget feared to lead to rate hikes, inflation, burdening vulnerable

Business owners set to be affected by rising lending rates, consumer prices By Kim Bo-eun Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki speaks about the government’s 14-trillion-won ($11.7 billion) extra budget plan at ... Read more »

How high will LG Energy Solution soar?

Customers enter Shinhan Financial Investment’s Yeouido branch on the last day of a two-day subscription period for stock allotment of LG Energy Solution IPO, Jan. 19. Newsis By Anna J. ... Read more »

SK, KT rethink attending MWC amid Omicron variant

Visitors arrive at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) fair in Barcelona, Spain, June 28, 2021. AFP-Yonhap By Baek Byung-yeul SK Telecom and KT are agonizing over the size of their ... Read more »

Opposition parties turn against each other

Lee Jun-seok, head of People Power Party, speaks at a meeting held at the National Assembly, Monday. (Joint Press Corps) Opposition parties People Power Party and People’s Party are engaging ... Read more »

Yoon vows for stronger national defense, key to peace on Korean Peninsula

Presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party announces his election pledges on security and diplomacy at the party’s headquarter in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)Presidential candidate Yoon ... Read more »

Number of 'discouraged workers' in Korea hits new high in 2021

gettyimagesbank The number of “discouraged workers” in Korea touched a fresh all-time high in 2021 due to a weak job market amid the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Monday.Asia’s ... Read more »

Coronavirus: PM implores people to refrain from traveling during Lunar New Year

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks during a press conference at the government complex in Seoul, Jan. 24. Yonhap Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on Monday asked people to refrain from traveling ... Read more »

Hanwha Q Cells CEO to represent renewable energy suppliers

Hanwha Q Cells CEO Lee Koo-yung / Courtesy of Hanwha Q Cells By Park Jae-hyuk Hanwha Q Cells CEO Lee Koo-yung was appointed last Friday as the 14th chair of ... Read more »

Professor slams Japanese Embassy's refusal to Moon's gift over Dokdo

This photo shows the image on the box of South Korean President Moon Jae-in`s gift sent to foreign ambassadors in the country to mark the Lunar New Year. (Yonhap)Seo Kyung-duk, ... Read more »

[Election 101] Campaign merger? What it is and why it matters

People Power Party candidate Yoon Seok-yeol (left) and People Party leader Ahn Cheol-soo (Yonhap) Will two presidential candidates, Yoon Suk-yeol and Ahn Cheol-soo, merge their campaigns to win the upcoming ... Read more »

Lee Jae-myung vows quicker commute for Gyeonggi residents

Presidential nominee Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party announces the proposed expansion on the Greater Train Express commuter network of railways, subways and expressways during a campaign event Monday ... Read more »

Tesla, Volvo expand presence against Volkswagen, Jaguar, Land Rover

By Kim Hyun-bin Tesla and Volvo sales are gaining traction as they compete fiercely as emerging powerhouses in the Korean market while Volkswagen, Ford, and Jaguar Land Rover ― the ... Read more »

KOCCA to hold online immersive concert with 'Show Me the Money 10' contestants

The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) joined hands with Mnet’s hip-hop survival show, “Show Me the Money 10,” to hold an immersive concert. Courtesy of KOCCA By Lee Gyu-lee The ... Read more »

Moon calls for swift shift to new response measures to cope with omicron

People wait in line to take COVID-19 tests in Seoul on Sunday, as South Korea’s daily coronavirus cases spiked to the second-largest figure since the pandemic outbreak amid the fast ... Read more »

Moon not to hold New Year's press conference in order to focus on handling omicron

Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul (Yonhap)President Moon Jae-in will not hold a New Year’s press conference as he focuses on handling the COVID-19 situation with the highly transmissible omicron variant ... Read more »

7 Lee confidants pledge not to take any appointed post

Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Party, proposes an emergency meeting with other presidential candidates to discuss the issue of drawing up an extra budget for pandemic-hit ... Read more »

S. Korea says it's closely monitoring N. Korea's nuclear, missile activities

This file photo taken from an observatory in the South Korean border city of Paju on Jan. 7, 2022, shows the North Korean town of Kaepung on the western front-line ... Read more »

Prosecution probing allegations Yoon refused raid on religious sect as prosecution chief

The undated file photo shows the Supreme Prosecutors Office in Seoul. (Yonhap)Prosecutors have opened a probe into allegations that main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol, while serving as prosecutor general, ... Read more »

Korean romance TV series gain popularity on Netflix

A poster for SBS’s romantic comedy series “Our Beloved Summer” / Courtesy of SBS Korea’s romantic TV series have recently made their global presence strong through Netflix, prompting global streaming ... Read more »

Lee pledges 'transportation revolution' for Gyeonggi residents

Democratic Party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung announces his election pledges for Gyeonggi Province in a news conference in Yongin, south of Seoul, on Monday. (Yonhap)Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung ... Read more »

Omicron becomes dominant variant; new COVID-19 cases above 7,000 for 3rd day

People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 near Seoul Station in central Seoul, Jan. 23. Yonhap Korea’s daily coronavirus cases stayed above 7,000 for the third straight day ... Read more »

Yoon leads Lee 42% to 36.8%: poll

This compilation image shows (from L to R) presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung, Yoon Suk-yeol, Sim Sang-jeung and Ahn Cheol-soo. (Yonhap)Main opposition presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol is leading his ruling party ... Read more »

When will Korea see its first xenotransplantation surgery?

This handout photo released by the University of Maryland School of Medicine shows surgeons performing the transplant of a heart from a genetically modified pig to a patient in Baltimore, ... Read more »

Korea decides to offer $250 mil. in low-interest loans for Egypt's railway project

Export-Import Bank of Korea /Yonhap The state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea said Sunday it has decided to offer US$250 million in low-interest loans to support Egypt’s national railway modernization project. ... Read more »

Beijing district orders mass virus testing ahead of Olympics

(AP-Yonhap)BEIJING — People in a Beijing district with some 2 million residents were ordered Sunday to undergo mass coronavirus testing following a series of infections as China tightened anti-disease controls ahead ... Read more »

N. Korea criticizes Japan's move to revise security documents

(Reuters-Yonhap)North Korea’s foreign ministry on Sunday criticized Japan’s moves to revise a set of key security documents as “extremely dangerous” steps away from its long-held defense-oriented policy. Japan has reportedly ... Read more »

FTC, maritime ministry conflict over freight rate collusion issue intensifies

An HMM container ship / Courtesy of HMM By Kim Hyun-bin Conflict between the country’s antitrust regulator and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is intensifying, as the Fair Trade ... Read more »

Restructuring steelmakers consider upping dividends to ease shareholder concerns

POSCO CEO Choi Jeong-woo By Lee Kyung-min Korea’s steel giants are increasingly embracing shareholder-friendly dividend policies, in a collective move to appease investor concerns over corporate restructuring plans, whereby the ... Read more »

Korean bio stocks plunging as large-cap players mired in unceasing scandals

Retail investors of SillaJen protest in front of the Korea Exchange in Seoul on Jan. 18, calling for the resumption of its stock trading. Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung Korea’s biotech ... Read more »

Fire at EcoProBM factory concerns Samsung SDI, SK on

EcoProBM’s factory in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, is on fire, Friday. Courtesy of National Fire Agency By Park Jae-hyuk Samsung SDI and SK on are facing growing concerns over the ... Read more »

Bitcoin fall unnerves investors in Korean stock market

Seen above is the price fall of Bitcoin at an office of Bithumb in Seoul, Friday. Yonhap Growing fears of Fed’s tightening, rate hikes to boost selloff of risky assets ... Read more »

7,630 new COVID-19 cases reported as Omicron surges

A person is tested for COVID-19 at a makeshift testing station in front of Seoul Station, Sunday. Yonhap Experts warn gov’t to take action over Omicron, as 7,000-plus confirmed cases ... Read more »

Mom's Touch delisting feared to benefit large shareholders only

The owner of a Mom’s Touch franchise restaurant in Seoul holds a sign protesting the franchisor’s abusive management practices, Oct. 27, 2021. Korea Times file By Lee Kyung-min Criticism is ... Read more »

Minor opposition candidates level criticism at Lee, Yoon

Presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo speaks with members of South Gyeongsang Provincial Council on Sunday. (Yonhap)As the presidential election is drawing near, minor opposition candidates Ahn Cheol-soo and Sim Sang-jung are ... Read more »

Samsung Electronics about to reach wage agreement

The flag of Samsung hangs in front of a building in the Samsung Town office park in Seocho District, Seoul, in this 2020 file photo. Korea Times photo by Bae ... Read more »

Exports of red pepper paste surge 63% over 4 years on K-pop popularity

gettyimagesbank Exports of red pepper paste soared nearly 63 percent over the past four years thanks to the global popularity of Korean pop culture, data showed Sunday.Overseas shipments of the ... Read more »

Can Yoon Suk-yeol win on his own without any help?

Presidential nominee Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party speaks Saturday during a campaign event held in Sejong. (Yonhap)There is growing opinion that presidential nominee Yoon Suk-yeol of ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic