Funeral of mayor of South Korean capital held amid allegations of sexual abuse


Seoul, July 13

Friends, household and colleagues attended the small funeral on Monday for the long-time mayor of Seoul, one of many nation’s most distinguished elected officers, who leaves a posh legacy amid a prison investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.

Mayor Park Won-soon was discovered useless on Friday. He is alleged to have left a notice thanking and apologising to “everyone”. Police didn’t give a reason behind demise however mentioned there was no signal of foul play.

Mourners carry a portrait of late Seoul mayor Park Won-soon throughout his funeral service at Seoul City Hall in Seoul. AFP

His demise got here days after considered one of Park’s former secretaries filed a grievance alleging the 64-year-old had sexually harassed her, prompting a police investigation. A consultant of his household issued an announcement vowing authorized motion in opposition to those that unfold “groundless statements”, with out elaborating.

The funeral, hosted by the town authorities on the metropolis corridor and dwell broadcast on-line, was restricted to round 100 individuals due to COVID-19 issues.

“Mourning doesn’t necessarily exclude soul-searching but now is time to mourn,” mentioned Paik Nak-chung, a literary critic who helped lead the funeral.

Hundreds of residents gathered regardless of heavy rain close to the City Hall and a park the place Park’s physique will probably be cremated, some weeping.

People mourn because the hearse carrying late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon leaves Seoul City Hall Plaza after his funeral, in Seoul. REUTERS

In entrance of the City Hall, one man sought to carry consideration to the harassment allegations, drawing boos and complaints from supporters, native media footage confirmed.

Park’s stays will probably be buried within the south-eastern county of Changnyeong, the place he was born, metropolis officers mentioned.

As the longest-serving mayor of Seoul, a metropolis of just about 10 million individuals, since 2011, Park was instrumental in its response to COVID-19.

An outspoken advocate of ladies’s rights and gender equality, former activist and lawyer, he was seen as a possible presidential longing for the liberals in a 2022 election.

A petition filed with the presidential Blue House, urging the funeral to be cancelled over the sexual abuse allegations, gathered greater than 560,000 signatures. But a courtroom on Sunday rejected an activist group’s try and cease it. Reuters



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