The government, which filed a lawsuit to reclaim the land in Seoul owned by the descendants of pro-Japanese Lee Hae-seung, lost in the first trial.

According to the legal community on the 5th, on the 19th of last month, the 12th part of the Civil Settlement Division of the Seoul Western District Court (Chief Judge Lee Byung-sam) lost the plaintiff in a lawsuit for the transfer of ownership filed by the state against Lee Woo-young (82), the grandson of Lee Hae-seung, the grandson of the Grand Hilton Hotel.

The land that the government has reclaimed is 27,905 square meters of forest in Hongeun-dong, Seodaemun-gu, equivalent to four soccer fields.

Lee Hae-seung was the fifth-generation descendant of Jeon Gye Daewongun, the father of King Cheoljong, and was given the title of marquise, the highest rank among Joseon nobles, from the Japanese colonial rule, and enjoyed the status and privileges of aristocrats until the defeat of the Japanese colonial rule.

In 2007, the Committee to Investigate the Facts of Pro-General National Behavior identified Lee Hae-seung as a pro-general national activist as 'a person who received a title for the merits of the Korea-Japan annexation' as stipulated in the Pro-Japanese Property Attribution Act.

In October 2019, Seodaemun-gu discovered land suspected of being pro-Japanese property during the park development project and requested the Ministry of Justice to review whether it is subject to state ownership.

In August last year, the Liberation Society also applied for the restitution of pro-Japanese properties such as the land concerned with the Ministry of Justice.

The property acquired by pro-Japanese actors in return for cooperation with Japan from the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in February 1904, when the invasion of national sovereignty began to the liberation of Japan, is reverted to the state in accordance with the 'Pro-Japanese Property Attribution Act'.

The first time Lee Hae-seung acquired the Hongeun-dong forest was in 1917.

Based on this, the government filed a lawsuit against Chairman Lee, his grandson, in February, saying, "Follow the transfer registration procedure for the restoration of the real name of Hong Eun-dong Forest."

However, the court of first instance rejected the plaintiff's claim, ruling, "If the property was acquired without knowing whether it was pro-Japanese property, or if it was acquired at a fair price, it can effectively retain the right."

In 1957, Hong Eun-dong forest land was transferred to Chairman Lee, who exclusively inherited the land from his grandfather Lee Hae-seung.

After that, the land on which the mortgage had been set was put up for auction in August 1966, and First Bank (the predecessor of SC First Bank) won the bid.

The following year, in June 1967, when Chairman Lee repurchased the land, ownership changed several times.

The court judged the legitimacy of land ownership on the basis of an exception to the law that 'if a third party acquires it in good faith or after paying a fair price, it is excluded from the object of the state's ownership'.

The court concluded that there is no reason to exclude from the scope of a third party just because the pro-Japanese property Attribution Act does not provide for a 'third party' other than the definitions of 'pro-general national actors' and 'pro-Japanese property'. 's judgment.

The court said, "The defendant is a third person who has acquired the land in this case after paying a fair price." "he added.