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US Solder Acquitted of Killing Korean Girl

Posted November. 20, 2002 22:59,   


The jury acquitted a US solder of negligence homicide, who was indicted for killing two Korean middle school girls while operating an armored vehicle. In response, victims` family members and civil organizations are showing angry reactions.

On Nov. 20th, the jury for the US 2nd Army`s court martial found Nino (27) not guilty of the homicide.

All the jurors consisted of active members or the 2nd Army. But due to the rules, it is not known how many jurors agreed to the verdict and why.

The US legal system prohibits the army prosecution from appealing from the verdict. Therefore, the case in substance is wrapped up legally.

In the meanwhile, Mike Walker, who drove the vehicle at the time of the accident, is likely to be acquitted or see the indictment against him dropped. The trial against him is to start on Nov. 21st.

Right after the verdict, Charles Campbell, commander of US 8th Army, said in a press conference, "We give our apology and condolence to the two middle school girls killed tragically. This trial was fair. The jury, in consideration of various kinds of evidence, seems to have determined that Nino was not criminally responsible for the deaths."

On other hand, Shim Soo-bo, father of murdered Shim Mi-sun (14), said, "I never thought that a not guilty verdict would be rendered. I couldn`t say anything about this absurd result."

Chae Hee-bum (36), secretary general of a civil rights organization working on this case, said, "From the beginning, we knew what would happen. All the jurors are active members of the US 2nd Army. I resent what the US army has done. They just tried to cheat the Koreans, thinking we are stupid."

Once the verdict was announced, members of the organization waged a fierce demonstration, pushing their way into Camp Casey where the court martial was held. Today, a large rally is expected to start, demanding the revision of the Status of Forces Agreement.

On June 13th, Nino and Walker ran over and killed Shin Hyo-soon (14) and Shim Mi-sun (14), then middle school students at Choyang Middle School, while operating an armored vehicle on the route 55. Later, they were indicted without detention.