Reporter seeks probe into death of late folk rock singer's daughter

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 21, 2017 - 15:05
  • Updated : Sept 21, 2017 - 15:05

A news reporter lodged a complaint with prosecutors on Thursday seeking a reinvestigation into the suspicious death of a famed late folk rock singer's teenage daughter 10 years ago.

The complaint comes a day after local tabloids ran stories about the only child of Kim Kwang-seok, Seo-yeon, who died in 2007 at the age of 16. Some of the reports speculated the death may not be accidental, as she was the legal inheritor of her father's estate, including copyrights to his music.

Lee Sang-ho, a TV journalist and documentary film director, filed the complaint against Kim's widow, only identified by her surname Seo. He accused her of not informing Kim's family of her daughter's death while they were in a legal battle over the ownership of copyrights to his music and albums. 

This file photo, taken April 1, 2016, shows a picture of late folk rock singer Kim Kwang-seok at an exhibition held in commemoration of him and his music in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Lee's lawyer declined to give further details on the complaint, only saying that it's related to the younger Kim's death being a possible homicide. Lee has also requested a ban on Seo leaving the country, the lawyer said.

Police closed the daughter's case as accidental, based on the autopsy that concluded her death was caused by acute pneumonia, with no signs of external injuries.

The top court ruled in 2008 the daughter holds the rights to the singer's estate. Seo became the legal inheritor of Kim's assets after their daughter died and now owns all the copyrights and neighboring copyrights to his music.

The singer Kim committed suicide in 1996, when he was 32. His death sent shock waves through fans and the public, who loved his plaintive yet captivating vocals and sentimental lyrics that critics say portrayed individuals' sorrow and frustration at a time when the society was struggling in its early stage of democracy following rapid industrialization.

The reporter, who has undertaken a probe of his own into Kim's death, has insisted Kim did not kill himself. He alleges Seo and her brother, who has a long rap sheet, were involved in the case. (Yonhap)