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[Newsmaker] Police send internet cafe murder suspect to prosecution

Nov. 21, 2018 - 14:04 By Choi Ji-won
Police on Wednesday transferred to the prosecution a man suspected of having killed an internet cafe employee in Seoul, with the recommendation of indicting the man for murder. They also recommended that the suspect’s brother, an alleged accomplice, be charged with joint assault.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency concluded that the 29-year-old suspect Kim Seong-soo stabbed the worker to death while his younger brother used force on the victim.

Kim Sung-soo speaks in front of reporters Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Kim was arrested last month over the death of a 21-year-old man, identified by his surname Shin, at an internet cafe in Seoul’s Gangseo district on Oct. 14. Kim confessed to killing the part-time worker, saying that he was angry that the worker did not clean his table when asked.

A petition was filed on the presidential office’s website, calling for stern punishment of Kim after his parents submitted Kim’s medical history of being on anti-depressants. Korean criminal law states that the insanity defense or a plea for leniency on the grounds of mental infirmity may reduce a sentence by up to half the term.

Kim was put under psychiatric evaluation by the Ministry of Justice and was later declared not to have any mental illness.

Police had been mulling the arrest of Kim’s younger brother after CCTV footage of him holding on to Shin’s back during the fatal incident was made public. The victim’s family asserted that the brother should also be charged with murder, claiming that he made it easier for Kim to stab Shin from the front by holding on to Shin.

However, upon close examination of the footage, investigators concluded that Kim’s brother had no intention of killing the man. Police said the murder suspect took out a knife and stabbed Shin only after the latter fell to the ground from a scuffle, during which Kim punched Shin while his brother restrained the victim from the back.

On his way to the prosecution Wednesday, Kim told reporters that he had acted out of resentment at injustice but that he was sorry to the victim and his family.

“I just wanted to kill him,” Kim said. “I don’t think requesting that the table be cleaned up was a wrongdoing.”

Kim said he had not been aware of his brother’s involvement in the incident but that he should also be punished for any wrong committed.

By Choi Ji-won (