S Korean court rejects Japan extradition request for Chinese arsonist

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  • 14

    Virtuoso

    Tokyo had sought his extradition in connection with a separate arson attack (in Tokyo)

    Please explain how that's double jeopardy. It looks to me like Korea selectively judges the culpability of arson cases in Japan according to what type of building the perpetrator attempted to torch.

  • 11

    nigelboy

    Semp,

    He committed a separate arson crime in Japan.

  • 6

    nigelboy

    But then again, this was expected. As I stated before, Korea is and forever maintains the attitude of being a tributary state of China.

  • 5

    gonemad

    this is a test of the rule of law, and South Korea failed.

    The law in this case is the bilateral extradition treaty between South Korea and Japan. This treaty states that the minimum offence for extradition must be a maximum jail time of at least one year under both jurisdictions. This guy got a sentence of 10 months for a similar crime in Korea, which is an indication that the case failed the minimum offence condition. Unfortunately journalists these days don't care to report essential background information and I wonder how many of the commenters here have enough knowledge about Korean, let alone Japanese law?

  • 3

    KariHaruka

    Nice mature approach from South Korea there not letting politcal bs get in the way of justice. /sarcasm

  • 3

    Nessie

    Whatever the legal rights and wrongs are, it's a bit naive to expect any kind of cooperation from Korea in this particular case....

    Whatever else it is, this is a test of the rule of law, and South Korea failed.

  • 2

    lucabrasi

    Whatever the legal rights and wrongs are, it's a bit naive to expect any kind of cooperation from Korea in this particular case....

  • 2

    akkk1

    Japan had never believed in that kind of relationship and had never considered Korea being superior than Japan.

    Japan has always regarded Korea as inferior. Now that S.Korea has surpassed Japan in soft culture and industry, the roles have reversed. Ancient Chinese culture, arts, philosophy was a model for Japan. After the Manchu conquest of China in 1644, Japan began to regard China as inferior as the student got stronger and the teacher became weaker . The 3 countries have a long common history and loads of historical baggage.

  • 2

    neobios

    China is South Korea's largest export destination and no way having risk of hurting its economy for such issue and it does prevent any escalation of tension between China and Japan. The guy was jailed for 10 months the least but not sure blacklisted to enter the country.

    I think such issue would continue until either China or Japan lose the economic war and gave in, harsh statement but sadly I believe that's how it goes for now as there's hardly any indication of smoothing ties.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    yosun

    It's called social Confucianism in which Korea sees the three nations as brothers with Japan being the youngest and that younger must always look up to the elder.

    Stupidity at it's finest since Japan had never believed in that kind of relationship and had never considered Korea being superior than Japan.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    iWorld: "Because this is not about him. This is about Japan still believing that it is the major power in East Asia and that it can demand South Korea to do as it please like in the past."

    You miss the point. I was asking if he was caught for what he did in Japan and let go, or deported, or what have you.

    nigelboy: "I believe you are confused smith. He was arrested in Korea for a crime he committed in Korea and while he was in custody of there is when he admitted to another crime in Japan."

    It's obviously not me who's confused. Confounded at Japan's audacity, perhaps, but not confused. I know full well the man was detained, tried, and served time in South Korea for his attack on the embassy. My question is why Tokyo suddenly wants the guy extradited. Did they not know who committed the arson attack at Yasukuni?

  • 0

    OssanAmerica

    No question that South Korea yielded to Chinese pressure. The downside for South Korea is that the next time a South Korean commits a crime at home then flees to Japan.....

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    "Tokyo had sought his extradition in connection with a separate arson attack that also caused minor damage at the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo in December 2011."

    Why didn't Tokyo contain and try him then? Seems silly to ask for extradition so long after the fact and after he served time.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Indeed not, and I don't see why the Koreans should be particularly miffed at the fact that he left a trifling burn on a monument celebrating Japan's military aggression.

    You need to do a little research before spouting off. The shrine was there 60 years before Japan started their aggression in the 1930's. The shrine holds the names of ALL who have died while serving the Emperor of Japan, not just soldiers. From Wiki:

    There is no prejudice when being enshrined; everyone is considered equal regardless of social status, living deeds or other factors. The only requirement for being enshrined is to have died in service of the Empire of Japan, as such the shrine owners felt there was no reason to exclude those convicted of crimes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasukuni_Shrine

    There are almost 2,500,000 names recorded at the shrine, of which only FOURTEEN are war criminals.

    There are (recorded at the shrine) relief workers, factory workers, citizens and those not of Japanese ethnicity such as Taiwanese and Koreans who served Japan.

    ibid

    If you consider the criteria for being named at the shrine to be "dying in the service of the Empire of Japan", then the 14 war criminals deserve to be placed at the TOP of the list, because all 14 lied at the war crimes trials in order to spare the Emperor from being implicated. They died so that their Emperor could continue to live.

  • 0

    billyshears

    The 3 countries have a long common history and loads of historical baggage

    So have Britain, France and Germany. However, for the sake of everyone's future traveling comfort, eventually old baggage needs to be traded in for a brand new set of modern suitcases.

  • 0

    cramp

    i'm glad there was no dodgy politics in this verdict, good job SK!

    crime in SK, caught in SK, jail/sentencing in SK

  • 0

    flpat1

    It's a shame that JT is not releasing the behind the scene story as to why SK govt refused extradition. South Korea used this arsonist nut job against China for holding a Korean citizen in a Chinese prison for human rights activism. It's like saying "You release one of ours and I won't send this guy to Japan so he can be fried". And, I can't believe some of you posted things like how South Korea must be a Chinese state and crap. Are Koreans to be either pro-Japan or pro-China? They can't be looking out for their own interest?

  • -1

    Pontepilate

    The question is how did he "escape" Japan? The yasukuni shrine is not a place you can approach and leave unnoticed especially after an arson attack. Either the Japanese police are just that competent, or they deliberately let him slip away for not wanting to get into trouble with China, but now that the Koreans got him for an attack in their country and prosecuted him, they want to ride on the precedence... Well, the Japan Government should just ask China for his extradition and leave Korea out of it.

  • -1

    gonemad

    False. It doesn't matter what the "sentencing" resulted in. What the treaty states is the maximum "punishable" term in their respective criminal code. Considering that the prosecution in Korea seeked for 4 years imprisonment and the Japan's code has 5 years, it satisfies the condition on the treaty.

    You are correct in that the result of the sentence doesn't matter. That's why I cautiously wrote about "indication". The fact that prosecutors sought for longer terms is also just an indication. There are jurisdictions which have defined different categories of arson. The court doesn't have to follow the same classification like the prosecutors. I'm not an expert for Korean and Japanese law, so I can't tell whether this applies here. All I want to say is that you should be careful with your judgements when you don't exactly know the legal basis.

    Anyway, the reason the Korean court has given for it's ruling was completely different. It has acknowledged the defendant's claim that he committed the crime for political reasons only. According to the extradition treaty, political crimes are excluded.

    The one to blame here is not the court, but the two governments who agreed on such kind of exemptions in the treaty, obviously because they didn't have trust in each other's political class. It's notable that even politically motivated murder is exempted as long as it doesn't affect the head of state/government and their families.

  • -2

    yosun

    Korean've been getting along with both Chinese and Japanese for thousands of years and I believe most korean regard these 2 countries as some sort of threat. however, it's clear Korean always prefer to side by china, why? japanese friends should sometimes think about it.

  • -2

    iWorld

    Why didn't Tokyo contain and try him then? Seems silly to ask for extradition so long after the fact and after he served time.

    Because this is not about him. This is about Japan still believing that it is the major power in East Asia and that it can demand South Korea to do as it please like in the past. However, now that South Korea have its own independent foreign policy(something Japan lacks) and it have grown economically and politically so it doesn't have to do as Japan say anymore.

  • -2

    nigelboy

    Why didn't Tokyo contain and try him then? Seems silly to ask for extradition so long after the fact and after he served time.

    I believe you are confused smith. He was arrested in Korea for a crime he committed in Korea and while he was in custody of there is when he admitted to another crime in Japan.

  • -2

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    I'm putting my money not so much on Chinese pressure, as Korean lack of respect for rule-of-law.

    I must admit, my sympathy for the Koreans drop another notch.

  • -2

    xuanzhang

    Shrug. That's barely a crime

  • -3

    nigelboy

    The law in this case is the bilateral extradition treaty between South Korea and Japan. This treaty states that the minimum offence for extradition must be a maximum jail time of at least one year under both jurisdictions. This guy got a sentence of 10 months for a similar crime in Korea, which is an indication that the case failed the minimum offence condition. Unfortunately journalists these days don't care to report essential background information and I wonder how many of the commenters here have enough knowledge about Korean, let alone Japanese law?

    False. It doesn't matter what the "sentencing" resulted in. What the treaty states is the maximum "punishable" term in their respective criminal code. Considering that the prosecution in Korea seeked for 4 years imprisonment and the Japan's code has 5 years, it satisfies the condition on the treaty.

    http://www.47news.jp/CN/201205/CN2012052301001641.html

  • -3

    nigelboy

    You are correct in that the result of the sentence doesn't matter. That's why I cautiously wrote about "indication". The fact that prosecutors sought for longer terms is also just an indication. There are jurisdictions which have defined different categories of arson. The court doesn't have to follow the same classification like the prosecutors. I'm not an expert for Korean and Japanese law, so I can't tell whether this applies here. All I want to say is that you should be careful with your judgements when you don't exactly know the legal basis.

    As the article I linked indicates, he was charged with attempted arson of an occupied building which the prosecutors asked for 4 year imprisonment. The decision by the courts was reduced to 10 months but there is no change in the classification of the crime itself.

    Anyway, the reason the Korean court has given for it's ruling was completely different. It has acknowledged the defendant's claim that he committed the crime for political reasons only. According to the extradition treaty, political crimes are excluded.

    Seems like an overreaching definition of "political reasons" from customary international law perspective, IMO and a slippery slope at that. First and foremost, the argument by the defense is that the accused grandmother was an ex comfort woman and that he was frustrated with the Japanese government's approach to the dealings of the said issue. According to sources, his grandmother being an ex comfot women was not an established fact. Second, Yasukuni is a private institution which has nothing to do with the Japanese government nor comfort women. The interpretation of the judgement is so loose that anyone can use "my XXXX was a comfort woman" to commit crime in Japan.

    The one to blame here is not the court, but the two governments who agreed on such kind of exemptions in the treaty, obviously because they didn't have trust in each other's political class. It's notable that even politically motivated murder is exempted as long as it doesn't affect the head of state/government and their families

    In a way yes. I think the two governments need to define what "political crimes" are and if they're interpretation varies to a great degree, the extradition treaty should be cancelled

  • -3

    Redcliff

    @ Kazuaki Shimazalki

    " I must admit my sympathy for the Koreans drop another notch"

    The article did not spell out the reasons and crime he did in China and for China to served an extradition order for Liu Qiang to be trial in China so you are speculating and conclude that there must be some sort of conspiracy going on between Korea and China to downgrade your view of Korea. A bit jumping the gun didn't you.

  • -5

    jkghrt

    Japan will pay for its hubris and lack of pentenance over its WWII war crimes yet. Pile terrorist refused the Japanese request. An eye for an eye

  • -6

    Fugacis

    Whatever the legal rights and wrongs are, it's a bit naive to expect any kind of cooperation from Korea in this particular case....

    Indeed not, and I don't see why the Koreans should be particularly miffed at the fact that he left a trifling burn on a monument celebrating Japan's military aggression.

  • -11

    semperfi

    Certainly, the crime was committed on S Korean soil..................He was tried and convicted there - and served his time............................. No reason for him to be sent to Japan to get tried again. Double jeopardy..

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