Main menu

Pages

Guardian: Angered in Seoul after the Belgian ambassador's wife attacked two female employees at a clothing store


Korean police said that the wife of Belgium's ambassador to South Korea will use her diplomatic immunity to avoid criminal charges being brought against her, after she allegedly beat two employees of a clothing store, after one of them asked her if she was wearing clothes she did not pay for.


And Ambassador Peter Lesquher said earlier that he "sincerely regrets the incident in which his wife participated," adding that he "wants to apologize on her behalf," according to the British newspaper "The Guardian".


An investigator at Yongsan Police Station in central Seoul said that the Belgian embassy "expressed that it would reserve the right of immunity for the ambassador's wife," adding that the police would not pursue the case.



The newspaper pointed out that South Korea is a signatory to the Vienna Convention, which gives accredited diplomats and their families immunity from criminal prosecution.



Police officers questioned the ambassador's wife earlier this month after the embassy said she would cooperate with the police.


Reports say that the ambassador's wife tried to dress in a store in Seoul before leaving the venue, prompting an employee to run after her to ask her about the piece she was wearing, which led to the confrontation.


The ambassador's wife appeared in the CCTV footage, pulling the arm of one of the employees and hitting her in the head, before she slapped another worker in the face who tried to intervene.


The newspaper pointed out that the footage - provided by the victim's family - was widely circulated by the local media and circulated via the Internet and turned public opinion against the family of the ambassador strongly.


The Belgian embassy issued the ambassador's apology in a bilingual post on Facebook because it sought to contain the damage, but its Korean translation appeared harsh, adding to the tension of some of the reactions.


Public outrage mounted in response to the use of diplomatic immunity, with more than 1,000 largely negative comments posted in one online report.


"I understand that diplomats are granted immunity, but why are their families granted these rights as well?" Said one of the Koreans. "This incident should not pass without consequences."

reactions

Comments