Husband of S. Korean actress murdered 'in contract killing'

Seoul (AFP) –


A South Korean actress' husband was murdered by a contract killer during a legal battle over his millionaire grandfather's money, prosecutors said Thursday.

The husband of Song Sun-Mi, who appeared in award-winning director Hong Sang-Soo's "On The Beach At Night Alone", was stabbed in the throat with a sashimi knife during a meeting at a Seoul law firm in August.

The victim, a 44-year-old art director identified by his surname Koh, died on his way to hospital.

Prosecutors said the killer was hired by Koh's own cousin, a Korean-Japanese surnamed Kwak, whom Koh and their millionaire grandfather had sued for forging inheritance documents.

"Investigations showed that it was a case of planned contract killing," the Supreme Prosecutors' Office said in a statement.

Yonhap news agency said that the grandfather, also a Korean-Japanese, owned several major hotels in Japan and the forged inheritance documents would have allowed Kwak to seize assets in Seoul worth some 68 billion won ($60 million).

Kwak had promised the 28-year-old killer two billion won for carrying out the murder, prosecutors said, and sent him a text message after the attack telling him to flee to the Philippines.

The two had met at a language school in Japan in 2012 and had been living together since May this year.

Kwak was indicted earlier this month. Prosecutors revealed details of the case Thursday as they added instigation of murder to the charges he faces.

The killer, who has not been publicly named, was arrested at the scene.