HomeKorean AmericanKorean American faces charges in Spain in raid on embassy

Korean American faces charges in Spain in raid on embassy

A Korean American faces extradition to Spain to face charges in connection with a violent robbery at the North Korean embassy in Madrid.

Suspect Christopher Ahn describes the robbery as an attempt to help a North Korean defect and disguise it as a kidnapping to protect his family from any retaliation by the North Korean government, according to court documents obtained by NK News.

Ahn says the person he tried to help defect changed his mind and the group Free Joseon suddenly had no choice but to abort its mission.

Ahn said he only became aware of the plot when he landed in Spain that same day. Free Joseon leader Adrian Hong is currently hiding from U.S. authorities to avoid extradition.

An investigation by Buzz Feed describes Ahn as only a volunteer in the plot- not the mastermind behind it. The FBI came to interview him at his home in Los Angeles and he freely gave agents the information they sought. U.S. Marshalls arrested him a few days later.

A federal judge must now decide if Ahn will be extradited to Spain to face charges there. The would-be defector now claims he did not give permission for the plot. That’s something Ahn’s supporters say he has to say to avoid prosecution in his own country.

“I’m just a guy who was trying to do the right thing,” the 40-year-old Ahn told Buzz Feed.

Ahn’s lawyer told the Korean JoongAng Daily that it was the North Korean diplomat himself who came up with the kidnapping ruse and contacted Free Joseon.

U.S. and Spain authorities say 10 people including Ahn broke into the embassy after one posed as a businessman. They held the North Korean staff for hours before the 10 escaped in embassy cars with computers, hard drives and flash drives.

Ahn is the only of the ten that has been arrested. He is currently out on bail.

Ahn is a former U.S. Marine. Hong is a Mexican citizen of Korean descent.

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