Court Rules in Favor of Opposition Leader in Lawsuit Over Remarks on Nephew’s Crimes

SEOUL - The Seoul appellate court ruled on Tuesday in favor of Lee Jae-myung, leader of the Democratic Party, in a lawsuit filed by the family of victims murdered by Lee's nephew.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the lawsuit accused Lee of trivializing the gravity of the murders by referring to them as "dating violence." Lee's nephew, Kim, was convicted of fatally stabbing his girlfriend and her mother in 2006, a crime for which he received a life sentence. Lee, who represented Kim in the initial trials, had previously commented on the case during the presidential race, sparking controversy.

The family sought 100 million won in damages, alleging Lee's characterization of the crime downplayed the severity of the acts. However, both the district and appellate courts found Lee's remarks did not misrepresent the crime's impact or unjustly harm the victims' memory. The appellate court's brief statement did not elaborate on the reasoning behind their decision, maintaining the district court's stance. Lee Jae-myung was not present at the hearing, as attendance is not mandatory in civil proceedings.

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