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Seoul to Extradite Korean-American Murderer

Posted May. 09, 2008 08:36,   


A Korean court ruled that Nam Dae-hyeon, a 33-year-old Korean-American who was arrested in March after having been on the run for 10 years in Korea as the FBI’s first-degree murderer on the wanted list, should be sent back to the United States.

The Seoul High Court said yesterday that it recently released a ruling that permits Nam’s extradition to the United States in his extradition court hearing.

Nam is suspected of shooting and killing a White former police officer while robbing a house in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania in August 1996.

After being bailed out the following year in return for $1 million, he came to Korea and turned himself in to local authorities in March 1998, asking for trial in Korea. He explained that he feared that a racist investigation in the United States would give him the death penalty.

As there was no extradition treaty in force between Korea and the United States back then, the Korean government discharged Nam from prison, rather than sending him to the United States. Having lived a life of escape from the FBI for 10 years, working as an English teacher, he was arrested at a private English institute in Gyeonggi Province in March this year, on the U.S. request to extradite him in accordance with an extradition treaty between the two countries signed in 1999.

The court said, “Nam, who holds dual nationality, committed a serious crime in the United States and has been prosecuted in the United States. Also, all relevant evidence and witnesses are in the United States. Considering that he fled the United States and has been on the run in Korea, there is no decisive factor to refuse to extradite him.”

Nam responded, “The Korean court is sending its own national to the United States, even though it can try him here through a legal coordination with the United States. This amounts to a clear renunciation of sovereignty.”