Spouse of Belgian envoy who slapped Seoul store employee claims diplomatic immunity to keep away from prices

Wife of Belgian envoy who slapped Seoul shop worker claims diplomatic immunity to avoid charges

The spouse of Belgium’s envoy to South Korea has claimed diplomatic privileges, making her proof against prosecution after slapping a Seoul store employee. The broadly reported incident prompted an apology from the Belgian Embassy.

Xiang Xueqiu, the partner of Ambassador Peter Lescouhier, made headlines final month after assaulting an worker at a clothes store. The altercation reportedly occurred after the employee adopted Xiang as she left the shop to make sure that she hadn’t stolen the jacket that she was carrying. After realizing that the clothes merchandise had not been shoplifted, the worker reportedly apologized and got here again contained in the store. Nevertheless, the transient interrogation appears to have enraged Xiang, who stormed again into the store and confronted two clerks, slapping considered one of them. 

CCTV footage of the incident was revealed by media retailers, sparking outrage amongst South Koreans who noticed the case for example of the abusive remedy that many staff within the service trade face frequently. 

Following the altercation, Lescouhier’s apologized on behalf of his spouse, stating that he “sincerely regrets the incident” and, “irrespective of the circumstances, the best way she reacted is unacceptable.”

In a video message posted to social media final week, the Belgian envoy additionally stated that his spouse was “cooperating actively with the police.”

However it now seems that Xiang is not going to face prices over the assault. Seoul Metropolitan Police confirmed that Xiang had invoked her diplomatic immunity, derailing any potential prosecution. Granted below the Vienna Conference, the particular privilege permits diplomats and their members of the family to keep away from arrest and indictment in a bunch nation. 

The usage of diplomatic immunity to keep away from prosecution for not-so-diplomatic misconduct is nothing new. In a tragic case from 2019, a girl who reportedly labored for a US intelligence company, Anne Sacoolas, claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the UK after killing teenager Harry Dunn in a deadly automotive accident outdoors US navy base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. 

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