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(LEAD) Police send Gangnam murder case to prosecution

All Headlines 13:51 May 26, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with police's press briefing, top prosecutor's comment in paras 9-11; Minor edits)

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- Police sent the suspect of the recent stabbing death of a 23-year-old woman near the country's busiest subway station in Seoul to state prosecutors on Thursday.

The 34-year-old man is accused of stabbing the victim, who was a complete stranger to him, multiple times in a bathroom in a building near Gangnam Station last week. The man, identified only by his surname Kim, was arrested by police later in the day.

Kim waited for about 40 minutes for a woman to show up at the building, according to the police. When the victim, whose identity was withheld, came into the unisex restroom, Kim attacked her with a knife he had brought.

During the police investigation, Kim said he had always been "ignored" by women.

As he was escorted to the prosecutors' office, Kim told reporters he feels sorry about the victim who lost her life at a young age.

Police earlier concluded that the murder was based on Kim's mental disease.

Kim has a record of being hospitalized for schizophrenia a total of four times since 2008. Since he left the hospital for the last time in January, he has not taken his medication properly, according to police.

Kim has been living on the streets since March.

The case has sparked a nationwide debate over violence against women in the country. Police, however, declined to define it as a hate crime against women.

"We are not at a position to declare our stance regarding whether it was a hate crime against women," said Han Jeung-sub, the police officer in charge of the investigation.

Kim Soo-nam, the country's top prosecutor, ordered officials to thoroughly investigate the motive and details of the incident and prepare measures to prevent any similar cases from occurring, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office said.

Police, meanwhile, said they will continue providing psychological therapy and financial support to the bereaved family.


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