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’97 Itaewon Murder Case suspect faces extradition

Better late than never, I suppose:

The prime suspect in the murder of a university student in Itaewon, Seoul 14 years ago has been caught in the U.S. and is undergoing extradition proceedings. The Justice Ministry on Monday said Arthur Patterson, the then-17-year-old son of a U.S. Forces Korea civilian employee, is accused of stabbing Cho Jung-pil, then a 23-year-old student at Hongik University, nine times in the toilet of a hamburger restaurant in Itaewon in April 1997.

Oh, and fear not the statute of limitations:

The murder took place 14 years and six months ago, just six months shy of the 15-year statute of limitation for murder. But under the Criminal Procedure Law, the statute of limitations freezes the day a suspect flees overseas, leaving more than 10 years in this case.

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  • Arghaeri

    They have SOL even in cases of murder – amazing.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    Did he flee from Korea? From what I gather he was in a legal position to leave.

  • wjk, 검은 머리 외국인

    now here is a guy who uses the name, ” Yu Bum Suk”, and he is non Korean.

    and he only admitted not being Korean when asked.

    He is more concerned about a ‘murderer’ and his right to have a “legal position to leave”.

    Just sayin’

  • cmm

    Why is it that lately it seems it takes a movie to draw attention to injustices here? …first the case above,

    But when public opinion soured after the film “Where the Truth Lies” based on the murder was released in 2009, public prosecutors requested Patterson’s extradition to the U.S. …

    …and the more recent 도가니 case:

    http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/html/481/2942481.html

    The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has embarked on a massive investigation of more than a million employees of schools in Korea to see if they have histories of committing sex crimes.

    The investigation was prompted by a national uproar sparked by a recent film, “Dogani” (“The Crucible”), which is based on a true case involving the rapes of hearing-impaired students at a school in Gwangju.

    (emphasis mine)

    Or maybe this is not a pattern but rather two isolated, similar incidents that have come to my attention in the same week?

  • http://populargusts.blogspot.com/ bulgasari

    Interesting that the extradition treaty applies to crimes committed before the treaty came into effect. Going through old Korea Times articles, I found one from 1984 saying an extradition treaty would come soon (it took 15 more years). The possibility of a treaty was brought up in 1989 after an American English teacher was murdered by one of her American coworkers who fled the country. Though the murder was mentioned by the likes of the Hankyoreh in the 90s as an example of outstanding cases due to the lack of a treaty (which the Hani blamed on the US not trusting Korea’s justice system), there doesn’t seem to be interest in Korea in re-opening the case.

  • cmm

    …there doesn’t seem to be interest in Korea in re-opening the case.

    …perhaps making a movie about this is in order? {snark}For maximum effect, let’s make it a female Korean citizen who was the victim and the murderer a blue-eyed American devil.{/snark}

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    perhaps you could play the lead. are your eyes blue?

  • cmm

    @7

    perhaps you could play the lead. are your eyes blue?

    Thanks, pawii, but I STILL do not have Hollywood looks (though my receeding hairline and aversion to the razorblade has me hearing ridiculous Jason Statham comparisons several times per week nowadays). Strike 1.

    And alas, strike 2 – my eyes are not blue, but a mix of brown and green which some call hazel.

    Strike 3 would be that I’m such a likeable guy, I’d fail to enrage the audience. The charm I naturally ooze would win the audience over, and they’d leave the theater thinking, “the bitch deserved it!”

    I’m out.

  • http://pawikoreapics.blogspot.com/ pawikirogii 石鵝

    well, i did tell you you look a bit like burt reynolds, right? hazel? this means somtimes they are brown and sometimes they are green depending on the light. i think soek ah 석아/石鵝 should direct your movie. he would give you the best lighting.

  • cmm

    @9 haha, I forgot about that, had to look it up to find the context:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2009/12/06/classy-japanese-fans-congratulate-kim-yuna/#comment-354722

  • http://dok.do/4lur41 Apodyopsis Gymnophoria

    But under the Criminal Procedure Law, the statute of limitations freezes the day a suspect flees overseas, leaving more than 10 years in this case.

    Great that Korea has this clause in its Criminal Procedure law.

    However, not so great, that when the USA (etc) is requesting a “criminal” who has escaped and is residing in Korea, Korea does nothing to apprehend the “wanted fugitive” and extradite them back to the states.

  • Jieun K

    blue-eyed American devil

    On the contrary, CMM is a warm, mellow guy, who’d best audition for a role of a man succumbing and falling victim to a femme fatale.

    burt reynolds

    That needs some ‘xplaining.

    I had let him in on how to shapeshift. As a matter of fact, we went on one such escapade a while ago, and got caught right in the act.

    Lately, I grew bored with the “Reynolds” look, so I asked him to permanently change into a mellow version of “Statham.”

  • cm

    “Great that Korea has this clause in its Criminal Procedure law.

    However, not so great, that when the USA (etc) is requesting a “criminal” who has escaped and is residing in Korea, Korea does nothing to apprehend the “wanted fugitive” and extradite them back to the states.”

    So where do you get this ideal from? Can you name one example where Korea refuses to extradite a criminal to the States? Here’s one example where Korea did extradite a drunk driver who fled the US. And I’ve also read other cases similar to this, which shreds your comments to bits, including sending back a Korean American murderer who was teaching in SK.

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/37613/korean-extradited-to-america-for-fatal-drunk-driving-accident/

  • cmm

    Thanks for putting in a nice work for me, Beautiful ;)

  • http://dok.do/4lur41 Apodyopsis Gymnophoria

    re: #13

    So where do you get this ideal from? Can you name one example where Korea refuses to extradite a criminal to the States?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1707825/

    (You asked for one example)…

  • Jieun K

    Just doin’ what I gotta do, dear. Where are you, halfway home?

  • cm

    #15 – so you’re taking a custody case of a child and call that an example?

    Poor example.

  • Benjamin Wagner

    @13

    And I’ve also read other cases similar to this, which shreds your comments to bits, including sending back a Korean American murderer who was teaching in SK.

    I think the extradition treaty actually started with David Nam, the English teacher. The Korean authorities knowingly let him stay in the country for 9 years even after he tried to turn himself in for the murder of the philly ex-cop.

    According to records in a bankruptcy case (his parents went broke on the million dollar bond ended up returning to Korea) Nam turned himself into the Korean police in 1999, just a year after he left, when he saw himself on America’s Most Wanted but the cops let him go. (I can’t link that case as it’s on LexisNexis, but this one is available:
    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-3rd-circuit/1430187.html) (News article say he was “arrested” by the police but then released – who knows what happened but they knew he was here).

    As for the connection to the extradition treaty a philly newspaper says:

    It wasn’t until March 2008 – more than eight years after President Bill Clinton signed an extradition treaty as a result of Nam’s case – that South Korean police tracked him down again and turned him over to the FBI that September.

    http://articles.philly.com/2010-01-27/news/24956069_1_murder-trial-extradition-treaty-murder-mystery

    Apparently the D.A. in the case made personal efforts to lobby for the treaty, though I’m pretty sure she’s not the first.

    District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham said last week that prosecutors feared Nam would flee when a judge, despite their recommendation that no bail be set . . . [but] Nam was freed Jan. 12, 1998, when his father paid a $100,000 bond – 10 percent of the bail [and] managed to get a passport and fled to South Korea . . .

    One wonders how he did that and if he travelled on his own name. Anyway . . .

    Abraham started an international campaign. She called U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who won passage of an extradition treaty. She also contacted then-U.S. Ambassador Thomas Foglietta, a former Philadelphia lawmaker, who had been friends with the Korean president.

    “It is my considered judgment that your special relationship with the South Korean government and other influential people there would be very meaningful,” Abraham wrote to Foglietta.

    The South Korean government sought a meeting with American investigators, and FBI Agent Kevin McShane and Supervising Narcotics Agent Kwang “Sonny” Shin from the Attorney General’s Office flew over. South Korean officials agreed to the hunt.

    http://articles.philly.com/2008-03-23/news/25260585_1_home-invader-accomplices-gunman/2

    Sounds like Abraham knows how to get things done. I wonder if any similar maneuvering was necessary to collar Patterson. The treaty has been in effect for a couple years now and it seems like the ROK has been trying to get him at least since the movie came out. Perhaps it’s to placate demand to revise the SOFA (again) after the recent USFK rape case(s). Apparently the Foreign “ministry plans to comb through SOFA and discuss possible improvements next month.”
    http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/10/11/2011101100989.html

    I haven’t seen any articles in the local Sunnyvale papers bewailing the “cruel fate” of Patterson yet but I’m on the look out.

    @ 5

    Interesting that the extradition treaty applies to crimes committed before the treaty came into effect.

    Great point. It’s been argued many times in different countries that it amounts to an ex post facto law but that argument has generally been rejected on the theory that the extradition treaty isn’t criminalizing anything wasn’t criminal before, it’s just providing means to get at the guy who’s already “a criminal.” The U.S. takes this view, otherwise I’d imagine Nam would given that argument a shot.

  • cm

    @ #18, the first extradition between Korea and the US took place in 2001, involving “Eddie” Kang.

    New Extradition Treaty with Korea Nets First Wanted Felon

    http://www.lapdonline.org/october_2001/news_view/22693

  • slim

    Foglietta doesn’t ring a bell as a former US ambassador to the ROK.

  • Benjamin Wagner

    Of course, the article I cited even gives the date “March 2008 – more than eight years after President Bill Clinton signed an extradition treaty”. And here I see the treaty came into force Dec. 20, 1999.
    http://internationalextraditionblog.com/2011/05/13/korea-extradition-treaty-with-the-united-states/
    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/71600.pdf

    That makes it even more puzzling in the case of Nam since the police apparently had him in March 1999 and said there was no extradition treaty between the countries:

    South Korean national police and the FBI arrested Nam in March 1999 after the broadcast of a Korean version of America’s Most Wanted, but he was released because South Korea and the United States had no extradition treaty.

    http://articles.philly.com/2010-01-29/news/25210219_1_murder-trial-extradition-treaty-confession

  • Benjamin Wagner

    @20 was the Ambassador to Italy at the time and and had been a Philadelphia Rep.

  • Benjamin Wagner

    “That makes it even more puzzling in the case of Nam since the police apparently had him in March 1999 and said there was no extradition treaty between the countries.”

    Wait a minute. Not puzzling at all. Treaty signed in 98, arrested March 99, treaty goes into effect Dec. 99. (Get your dates straight Wagner).

  • http://dok.do/4lur41 Apodyopsis Gymnophoria

    The Supreme Court acquitted him in September 1999 due to insufficient evidence.

    Is there no “double jeopardy” in South Korea?

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  • http://technobar.blogspot.com TheStumbler

    @24 – I wondered that too on reading the newspaper yesterday. Furthermore I was confused by the headline which said he had been given a special pardon, but further in the article it says the pardon was for a separate charge of posession of a deadly weapon.

    There really is a statute of limitations on MURDER?
    And what you asked, is there a concept of “double jeopardy” in Korea?

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  • Kasumi

    Because of a mistake made by a prosecutor, his travel ban was not renewed, when it legally should have been.