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Man gets life sentence for contract killing of cousin over inheritance

A man in his 30s was sentenced to life imprisonment Wednesday for hiring a hit man to kill his cousin over a family inheritance dispute.

The Seoul Central District Court found a 39-year-old surnamed Kwak guilty of inciting the murder of the victim, only identified by his last name Koh.

"He committed a crime that is intolerable in society given the premeditation, brutality and methods of killing," the court said. "The defendant needs to be isolated from community indefinitely." 


Kwak was charged last year for hiring the hit man, a 39-year-old Cho, to murder Koh. Cho stabbed the victim to death at a law firm office in Seoul in October last year. The victim, an art director, was the husband of South Korean actress Song Sun-mi. Cho has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the murder.

Kwak and Koh were in a legal battle over their grandfather's Seoul-based estate worth around 68 billion won (US$67 million). Kwak apparently promised Cho a 2 billion-won payout for the killing.

Song was present at Kwak's sentencing hearing Wednesday. With teary eyes, she left the courtroom without saying a word after the court delivered its ruling. (Yonhap)