Man arrested for murder
A man has been arrested for allegedly killing his girlfriend, who was initially believed to have accidentally suffocated while eating a live octopus, a prosecutor said yesterday. After an investigation lasting many months, the suspect, identified only as Kim, was formally arrested for murder on Friday last week, prosecutor Lee Geon-tae said in Incheon. Kim would be charged within the next 10 days, he said. “He’s still denying the charge ... we believe enough evidence has been collected to charge him,” the prosecutor said, without elaborating. The suspect, now 31, checked into an Incheon motel with his girlfriend in April 2010 after buying two live octopuses from a local restaurant. The man later called reception to say his girlfriend had collapsed and stopped breathing after eating one of them. She was taken to hospital, but died 16 days later due to brain damage. Her family initially believed the 24-year-old woman, surnamed Yoon, suffocated after a tentacle was found stuck in her throat — her body was later cremated — but Yoon’s father later discovered the daughter had signed up for a life insurance policy a week before her death, with Kim as the beneficiary. Incheon police reopened the case and questioned Kim, who collected 200 million won (US$189,400) in insurance money. Police said earlier they suspected Kim might have stuffed the octopus into Yoon’s throat or choked her with some other object, such as a pillow.
End sanctions, ASEAN says
Southeast Asian leaders yesterday called for the lifting of international sanctions on Myanmar after the country’s historic by-elections, a senior Cambodian official said at a regional summit. The leaders of ASEAN “call for the lifting of all sanctions on Myanmar,” Cambodian Secretary of State Kao Kim Hourn told reporters on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh. “The lifting of sanctions would contribute positively to the democratic process and especially economic development of Myanmar,” he said, quoting leaders inside the closed-door summit room. Myanmar President Thein Sein assured the other leaders of the 10-nation bloc that Sunday’s election were “transparent, free and fair, so he accepts the result,” Kao said.
Decriminalize drugs: minister
Foreign Minister Bob Carr, whose brother died after a 1981 heroin overdose, yesterday urged decriminalization of low-level drug use after a report concluded the war on the scourge was lost. His comments were at odds with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who said tough policing was the answer. “A bit of modest decriminalization, de facto decriminalization at the edges, simply freeing up police to be doing the things they ought to be doing, would be a sensible way of going about it,” Carr told Seven Network. He told fellow broadcaster ABC that by doing so “we wouldn’t have armies of police patrolling outside nightclubs and pubs hoping to snatch someone who’s got an ecstasy tablet in his or her pocket or purse.”
Flights to be diverted
The civil aviation authority said yesterday it would divert flights to and from Japan and South Korea to coincide with a planned North Korean rocket launch over fears of falling debris. Flight paths from Japan and South Korea to Manila airport will be closed from April 12 to April 16, when Pyongyang is expected to fire the rocket into orbit, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokeswoman Joy Songsong said. Airlines concerned have been advised, she said.