Statement 11 March 2009
The US soldier in Korea suspected for attempted murder must be in custody by Korean Police in Pyeongtaek
At dawn on Friday, 6th of March 2009, a US soldier in Korea stabbed a Filipino woman 18 times almost causing her to death.
According to the press, the US soldier from Camp Humphrey, Pyeontaek attacked the woman with a knife at the club street near Osan air base, who was on her way home. He also caused damages to two Korean men who rushed to her aid after hearing her screams. The Korean police arrested the U.S soldier at the scene but after checking his identification they handed him over to the U.S military police.
On Thursday, 12th of March 2009 after 6 days of the incident the Pyeongtaek Police will investigate the U.S soldier answer the summons. This is the first investigation of the incident. On the day of the attack the U.S soldier also hurt his finger through scuffle with the men who were trying to stop him. Hence, the explanation for late investigation was because the U.S soldier had to go under treatment. However setting up the investigation 6 days later is over the boundaries of humanitarian concern. Generally Korean polices investigate in 48 hours when they arrest the criminal in the very act. The reason why initial investigation must be done in 48 hours after arresting the suspect is to prevent destruction of evidence and fabricating testimony. 6 days have passed since the incident meaning that the Korean police have opened possibilities of damaging the evidence and fabricating statement.
Humanitarian concern is only applied to the U.S soldier.
The initial investigation was delayed to give treatment to the U.S soldier. The authority of U.S. forces in Pyeongtaek paid for his treatment fee which was around 1,900,000 won and checked him out of the hospital. Then what kind of humanitarian concern is given to the woman? The woman was repeatedly stabbed and had serious internal wounds. She was in critical condition and luckily after the surgery she has been stabilized. However, now she is faced with medical bills amounting to 5,000,000won and more for her further treatment.
The commander of Army’s 2nd Infantry Division where the U.S soldier belongs issued a news release saying “We regret this incident took place and our sympathies are with the victims involved.” “We will work closely with the Korean authorities to investigate this matter and bring the perpetrator to justice.” However there was no apology to the woman and any mentioning of taking care of the victims treatment.
Pyeongtaek Police must request arrest warrant for the U.S Soldier.
If this kind of incident happened between Koreans or any other foreigners living in Korea they would be properly arrested without question. Korea has jurisdiction over this case so following right procedures the U.S soldier must be arrested and sentenced in the Korean court. The U.S must comply with Korean authorities and hand over the U.S soldier. They should also pay the entire cost for the woman’s treatment.
Recently, the Korean police and prosecutor’s office have been stressing for stricter laws to be applied to illegality and violence. We will be watching closely to see if these tough measures are applied to this case involving a U.S soldier.
– National Campaign for Eradication of Crime by U.S.Troops in Korea -