Home News Man who stabbed South Korean opposition leader sentenced to 15 years

Man who stabbed South Korean opposition leader sentenced to 15 years

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A man who stabbed South Korea’s opposition leader in the neck in January in the country’s worst attack on a politician in nearly two decades was sentenced on Friday to 15 years in prison.

A judge in Busan, where the attack took place, found the man guilty of attempted murder and violating election laws. The defendant, Kim Jin-sung, a real estate agent identified by authorities only as Mr. Kim, has a week to appeal the verdict and conviction, a court spokesman said.

this January 2 knife attack Lee Jae-myung, then leader of South Korea’s main opposition party, suffered a bleeding neck vein and was taken to intensive care. He was released eight days later. Lee was attacked as he made his way through a crowd after inspecting a planned airport construction site.

Police said Mr Kim was born in 1957 and lived in Asan, south of Seoul. The attack had been planned for months They had followed Lee at previous rallies and said Kim had written an eight-page manifesto saying he wanted to make sure Lee never became president.

The attack on Lee, a liberal who narrowly lost the 2022 presidential election, shocked South Korea, where politics have been largely peaceful since the country established democracy in the 1990s, ending an era of military rule and political violence.

The attack sparked growing concerns Political polarization A few days after Lee Myung-bak recovered from surgery, conservative members of South Korea’s parliament Bae Hyun-jinShe was attacked by a man in Seoul who hit her on the head with a blunt object. Her injuries were not life-threatening.

The rivalry between Lee and President Yoon Seok-yeol has been a flashpoint in South Korea’s political tensions. Prosecutors have been bringing corruption charges against Lee since he lost the 2022 election. Lee accused Yoon of deploying law enforcement officers to intimidate his political opponents, a charge the president has denied.

Mr Lee resigned as leader of the opposition Democratic Party last week. He plans to run for re-election, although party rules require a leader to resign before running again.

Before Lee Myung-bak’s assassination, the last major attack on a South Korean politician was in 2006, when opposition leader and future South Korean president Park Geun-hye reduce Scrape your face with a utility knife.

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