South Korean Murder Suspect Dies In Custody

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2018-04-16 HKT 11:43

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  • The dead prisoner's body being moved to a mortuary by hospital employees. Photo: RTHK

    The dead prisoner's body being moved to a mortuary by hospital employees. Photo: RTHK

A South Korean man accused of killing his wife and young son at a Kowloon hotel earlier this year – and who had reportedly threatened suicide at that time – was found dead on Monday at the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre.

Sources said he had used a bed sheet to hang himself. A suicide note was found at the scene, according to prison officials.

The Correctional Services Department said the 43-year-old was unconscious when he was found by officers inspecting his cell. He was taken to hospital where he was confirmed dead.

At the time of his arrest in January, it was reported that the man had called a friend in South Korea to say that he and his family were planning to commit suicide.

The friend called the South Korean police, who alerted the country's consulate in Hong Kong. The consulate informed the Ritz-Carlton Hotel where the family were staying and the police were called in.

Officers found the bodies of the man's wife and six-year-old son with knife wounds, while he was said to have been in a semi-conscious state.

Democratic Party lawmaker James To on Monday called for a thorough investigation into the man's death to see if he had indeed taken his own life.

"If it is really a suicide case to be accepted by the coroners' court and a jury, [then] of course we must have a comprehensive review into the overall design of a [prison] cell, the bedding material and other possibilities of committing suicide," To said.

The Society for Community Organisation (Soco), meanwhile, noted that there were 99 suicide attempts by people in custody last year, four of them successful.

It said this means on average, there was one attempt every three to four days.

Soco said it is high time for the government to conduct a comprehensive review into how to prevent suicides and also reduce the risk for people making an attempt to end their life.

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Last updated: 2018-04-16 HKT 17:38