Seoul Court Denies Arrest Warrant for Palace Graffiti Suspect

Seoul - A Seoul court on Friday refused to issue an arrest warrant for a teenager accused of defacing the walls of Gyeongbok Palace, a historic site in central Seoul. The Seoul Central District Court stated that an arrest warrant for a juvenile is only issued when it is deemed unavoidable.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the 17-year-old suspect, identified only by his surname Im, is alleged to have spray-painted the phrase "free movie" in Korean on the western gate and walls of the palace near the National Palace Museum of Korea last Saturday. Im was apprehended three days later at his home in Suwon, south of Seoul. He faces charges under the Cultural Heritage Protection Act.

During the police investigation, Im confessed to committing the crime after receiving a request via social media, with the promise of a minor financial reward. Authorities are now expanding their investigation to identify the individual who instigated the graffiti.

In a related development, the court issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in his 20s for a similar act of vandalism at the same location, believed to be a copycat incident.

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