Fresh off the presses on Friday, January 4th, 2013 is an interesting story from Yonhap News, via the Korea Times.
Here are the story highlights:
Liu Qiang was in a Seoul prison for torching the Japanese Embassy in 2012. During that time, the Japanese government requested he be extradited for so he could stand trial for setting fire to the Yasukuni Shrine. Seoul denied the request stating the following:
“Not only extraditing Liu Qiang, who had committed the political crime, to Japan goes against the political order of the Republic of Korea and the Constitution, but also is denying the universal value of most of the civilized countries,” Judge Hwang Han-sik of the Seoul High Court said in his ruling.
“The Yasukuni Shrine is the property of a religious group in legal terms but (the court) deems the shrine holds a political symbol where the war criminals are enshrined,” Judge Hwang added.
But is this really a political crime? From Wikipedia:
In criminology, a political crime or political offence is an offence involving overt acts or omissions (where there is a duty to act), which prejudice the interests of the state, its government or the political system. A state may perceive it threatening if individuals advocate change to the established order, or argue the need for reform of long-established policies, or engage in acts signifying some degree of disloyalty, e.g. by burning the nation’s flag in public.