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A man sentenced to 25 years in prison for arson that killed three people

The Supreme Court of South Korea in southern Seoul. Yonhap
The Supreme Court of South Korea in southern Seoul. Yonhap
A man convicted of killing three people in an arson fire at a motel in Seoul was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the Supreme Court of South Korea ruled Monday.

The 71-year-old man was indicted on charges of setting a fire at a motel located in Mapo-gu, Seoul, in November 2020, which led to a total of eight casualties.

The man demanded the owner of the motel give him alcohol, but the owner refused. The man, who was found to be already drunk, then set a fire that killed three people and injured five.

After setting the fire, the man ran away from the motel where he had stayed for almost two months.

The Supreme Court said the 25-year sentence was adequate and upheld the lower court’s original sentencing decision.

According to the court, the man was already on probation when he committed the arson. He had also been put on probation three times for attempted arson already.

At the first trial, the man said that he meant no harm to guests who were staying at the motel. But the court did not accept the man’s argument, sentencing him to 20 years in prison.

The man appealed the court’s ruling, arguing the sentence was too heavy. The court, however, extended the prison sentence to 25 years in the second trial.

The court hinted that the man‘s arson was particularly reprehensible given that the owner of the motel was providing accommodations to the man who was in a financially difficult situation.

By Shim Woo-hyun (
Korea Herald Youtube