Police have pressed charges against a prosecutor and seven police officers involved in the probe of Hwaseong serial murder case for power abuse. According to police, they have also confirmed that the test result by the National Forensic Service (NFS), which served as conclusive evidence in determining Mr. Yun as the killer, had been fabricated. A researcher at the NFS fabricated the sample test result while using his scientifically unproven research method.
The entire investigation process clearly shows how our justice system worked against the disadvantage even though it happened three decades ago. Police beat Yun and forced him to do squat jumps even though he had a slight limp from polio, and kept him awake for three days in order to get a confession. The NFS, which is supposed to be the last resort in finding out the truth, fabricated the test result. The prosecutor did not raise a question when the crime scene did not match Yun’s description of it. Neither the court nor the prosecution question why Yun jumped over a wall with his limping leg when the gate was open or why there were no traces of Yun on the wall.
A public defender for Yun did not show up at the final trail without any reason. The next court-appointed attorney did not even meet Yun before the trial. Yun pleaded not guilty after he had been sentenced to life at the first trial but the public defender submitted an appellate brief, where he pleaded for mercy arguing that Yun is a first offender and the murder was an accident caused by Yun’s disability. Even though the appellate brief was contradictory, the second and third court of appeals dismissed Yun’s appeal, making one doubt if they even read the litigation record. Yun would not have been falsely accused if at least one person had been faithful to his or her duty during the entire process from the investigation to the last trial. While Yun was in jail, the investigators received a special promotion for capturing the criminal and retired several years later. Yun was released on parole after serving 20 years in jail.
Even though charges have been pressed against the investigators, they cannot be punished as the statute of limitations has already expired. Being aware of the fact, the investigators are throwing the blame on their deceased colleagues. Police said they have investigated 37 out of the 51 police officers, who took part in the investigation some 30 years ago. The rest 14 are the ones whose whereabouts are unknown or who are dead. There should be a lot more police officers, who did not participate in illegalities but have knowledge about the case. It is a case in which a life of a young man has been ruined by those who have public authority. More than anything else, everyone who is involved in the case should make a sincere apology to Yun for the tremendous damage their action has done to Yun.