The wife of Belgium’s ambassador to South Korea has claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid being charged for slapping a store clerk in Seoul earlier this year. Ambassador Peter Lescouhier previously said that his wife, Xiang Xueqiu, believed “committing physical violence is totally unacceptable” but she “might have had her reasons to be angry at the way she was treated in that shop.” He said she wanted to apologize “when she gets the opportunity to do so.” Police announced Tuesday that Xiang has claimed her right to diplomatic immunity so the case has been closed. Diplomatic immunity allows diplomats and their families to be exempt from criminal prosecution, but it may be waived voluntarily.
The incident occurred when a store clerk believed Xiang stole the jacket she was wearing so tried to peek at the label on the inside. The employee could not understand Xiang but later realized she did not steal the jacket and went to apologize. However, Xiang hit the woman across the face.