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Gov’t Compensates Families of 1975 Execution Victims

Posted August. 22, 2007 06:20,   


In 1975 the Supreme Court ruled that eight people, including Woo Hong-seon, were related to the Inhyeokdang case and sentenced them to death in eighteen hours after the ruling. Now, the families of those executed are to get 24.5 billion won in compensation from the nation.

On August 21, the Seoul Central District Court ruled for the bereaved families, explaining that family members of the eight victims experienced serious physical and mental suffering because of the nation’s illegal act, and that they have the right to receive 24.5 billion won. The forty-six bereaved families had asked for 33.5 billion won in compensation from the nation.

The court ordered 1 billion won, 600 million won, and 400 million won to be given to the eight dead people, wives and parents, and children, respectively. The total compensation for the families amounts to 2.7-3.3 billion won.

But the real compensation is expected to add up to 61.2 billion won considering the 32-year interest rate compounding of 36.7 billion won from April 9, 1975 when the eight people were executed, to the recent ruling date.

It is the biggest amount of the compensation by the state in the history.

In February 2006, there was a ruling that the nation should compensate 1.848 billion won to the bereaved families of professor Choi Jong-gil, who dies during an investigation by the Central Information Agency in 1973. At that time, he was being investigated on suspicion of espionage.

In the decision, the count said, “The nation took eight valuable lives using unjust power and drove the bereaved families into grief. So the nation has a responsibility to compensate the social mistrust, disadvantage in identity and economic poverty that the family members were forced to tolerate for the past thirty years.”

The judge did not accept the claim of the government that it doesn’t have to compensate as the statute of limitations on the case has already run out.

In this response, the court said, “It is humiliating for the nation to use the statute of limitations in order to escape its responsibility. The government’s claim cannot be accepted.”

On a rehearing of Inhyeokdang incident in this January, the eight people, including Mr. Woo, were ruled not guilty, clearing themselves of such charges of violation of emergency measure No.1, National Security Law and conspiracy of a rebellion.