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THE INVESTOR
August 03, 2021

Police drop assault case involving Belgian ambassador's wife

  • PUBLISHED :June 23, 2021 - 21:17
  • UPDATED :June 23, 2021 - 21:17
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This blurred surveillance footage, obtained by Yonhap News TV from the victim`s family on April 20, 2021, shows the scene of an incident in which the wife of Belgian Ambassador Peter Lescouhier allegedly assaulted two employees at a local clothing store. (Yonhap)



Police closed an assault case involving the wife of the Belgian ambassador to Seoul on Wednesday, without charging her due to diplomatic immunity and the victims' request of non-punishment

Xiang Xueqiu, the spouse of Ambassador Peter Lescouhier, has been questioned by police over allegations that she slapped a clothing store employee in the face and another staff in the back of her head in early April.

Yongsan Police Station said it decided not to charge the suspect, citing the wife's diplomatic immunity and the victims' request that she not be punished.

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, diplomats are largely granted immunity from prosecution in their host country.

Xueqiu has reportedly met privately with the two store employees to apologize and the victims asked the police that she not be punished, police said.

The assaults allegedly happened when the employees mistakenly suspected the wife of having stolen clothes from the store, because she was wearing an outfit similar to what they were selling.

Late last month, the Belgian government ordered Ambassador Peter Lescouhier to leave his post this summer and "partially" waived diplomatic immunity for his wife to the extent of complying with the police questioning.

Lescouhier has apologized over the incident and vowed full cooperation with the police investigation. But both the couple and the embassy have faced public criticism over what many saw as a lack of sincerity in addressing the matter.

The apology, issued in a Facebook post, stirred angry comments as the ambassador and his wife did not apologize in person, and because the language used in the apology appeared improper for a formal statement from a foreign government official expressing regret. (Yonhap)

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