Victim refuses to accept Belgian envoy’s apology for wife’s assault

Published (HKT): 2021.05.03 14:38

The apology of the Belgian ambassador in Seoul, whose Chinese wife assaulted a storekeeper last month, lacks sincerity, the husband of the victim told Apple Daily.

After the incident drew a strong backlash in South Korea, Belgian diplomat Peter Lescouhier issued an apology on his wife’s behalf on Facebook. “No matter the circumstances, the way she reacted is unacceptable,” he wrote.

Xiang Xueqiu, who is wanted by Korean authorities for questioning, was unable to respond to the police invitation as she was under medical care for a stroke, he added.

She has reportedly left the hospital since April 23. The South Korean Foreign Ministry confirmed on April 26 that the diplomat has informed authorities of her discharge from hospital and she will cooperate with the investigation.

Apple Daily visited the store, where Xiang was caught on camera hitting a female storekeeper in the head and slapping her in the face. The storekeeper, who was left with a swollen face, was still suffering from tinnitus and emotional distress, and hence not available for an interview.

According to her husband, the storekeeper had apologized to Xiang, saying “I am sorry, my mistake, sorry,” after mistaking her clothes as unpaid items from the shop. But Xiang returned after a call and began shouting at the staff in English. She hit the storekeeper in the head during the confrontation and slapped another storekeeper who had tried to intervene.

They called the police, who arrived after a few minutes.

“We understand the diplomat’s wife was angry about being mistaken for a thief, but her violent behavior is unacceptable. She weaponized her authority and caused great pain to the storekeepers. We hope similar incidents won’t happen again,” said the victim’s husband. He stressed that his wife was hit in the head, besides being slapped in the face, a fact that he would like to clarify.

He and his wife would only accept an apology from Xiang, who was the assailant.

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