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Yoon Tea-sik Sentenced 18 Years in Prison

Posted October. 10, 2002 22:45,   


The killer of Suji Kim (real name Kim Ok-boon) was finally sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment 15 years after the murder took place. Yoon Tae-sik, the founder of Pass 21, killed his wife 15 years ago, but the case has long been covered up by a government agency.

On October 10, 2002, the criminal division 23 of Seoul District Court (Chief Judge Kim Yong-hun) found Yoon guilty of all the charges against him including murder and fraud, then sentenced him to 15 years in prison for the murder and 3 years for the other charges. According to the indictment, among others, Yoon murdered his wife in Hong Kong, and then tried to cover it up as one of those failed kidnapping attempts by North. The court held, “The defendant has argued that his wife, while arguing with him, slipped and died from the impact of the fall. But, based on the expert testimony, she was strangled with a rope to death. Considering this and other evidence, this Court finds the defendant guilty of murder as indicted.”

The court added, “In addition, the defendant tried to cover up his murder by framing his wife as a spy of North Korea. As a result, the family members of the victim have to suffer severely under the smear of being a family of a betrayer. The heinous nature of his crime and the agony of the family members warrants a harsh punishment as allowed by the law.”

In January of 1987, Yoon killed his wife in Hong Kong. Then, he sought a political asylum at the North Korean Embassy in Singapore. But, when the embassy rejected his request, he returned to South Korea and alleged to the extent that he escaped from the kidnapping attempt by the North Korean Embassy agents and his wife who was a spy of North.

At that time, National Intelligence Service found out that the whole story was faked up by Yoon to cover up his murder of Suji Kim. But the agency, in order not to turn over its previously announced wrong statement, has covered up the truth of the homicide case.

“Suji Kim Murder Case might have been forgotten forever. But it began to draw the attention of the authorities and the public, which was triggered by Weekly Dong A’s an article in 2000 under the title “Do you know of the attempted kidnapping case by North in 1987?”. In the end, Yoon was arrested only 500 days before the statute of limitations ran out. Later, he was indicted for various charges, and the prosecution asked for life in prison for the murder and 6 years in prison for the rest of the charges.

When the sentence was rendered, Kim’s family members, who were watching the court proceedings in person, strongly protested against the sentenced terms and cried, “Yoon did not just kill one person. He killed all of us. But this is not the justice. He deserves more.”

Jin-Kyun Kil leon@donga.com