Image credit: Chris Ubik.
A court in Seoul has decided not to extradite a Chinese man suspected of committing an arson attack on the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo in 2011.
Japan demanded that South Korea hand over Liu Qiang, who was previously jailed for a separate attack on the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in 2011, after he confessed to Korean police that he was behind the Yasukuni arson attack.
Chinese representatives said that Liu was a ‘political prisoner’ protesting Japanese wartime atrocities and called for him to be returned to his home country following the completion of his Korean prison sentence.
“Extraditing Liu Qiang, who committed a political crime, to Japan goes against the nation’s political order and its Constitution. This would also deny the universal values of most civilized countries,’” the Seoul High Court found. “Liu harmed no one with the arson attack, while no significant property damage occurred. Given all these, it is difficult to say he committed a serious, cruel and anti-humanity crime.”
Liu is expected to return to China soon.