NATIONAL

Lawyer of man seeking retrial over alleged wrongful conviction ‘sure of innocence’

By Kim Arin
  • Published : Nov 4, 2019 - 13:31
  • Updated : Nov 25, 2019 - 20:06

SUWON, Gyeonggi Province -- The lawyer of a man claiming wrongful conviction in the 1988 rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, said he is “sure of (his client’s) innocence.”

Park Joon-young, a lawyer defending a 52-year-old man surnamed Yun who is seeking acquittal on retrial, told reporters Monday he was “convinced (Yun) was wrongly convicted,” and that the defense team will file a motion for retrial next week.

Park and Yun appeared at the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency’s special crime squad office at 10 a.m. for forensic hypnosis testing.

Park said he hopes the ensuing police probe will not only reveal Lee Chun-jae -- a killer who admitted guilt in crimes for which Yun was jailed for 19 1/2 years -- as the perpetrator, but also the missteps in the investigation at the time that led to a wrongful conviction.


Lawyer Park Joon-young speaks to reporters before his client, convicted of murder, is to undergo forensic hypnosis, Monday at Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency. (Kim Arin/The Korea Herald)

Park said the photos of a crime reenactment from August 1989 showed Yun, who has a limp from polio, trying to move with difficulty in the presence of the prosecutors.

The lawyer said he believes the prosecutors could have suspected Yun was not responsible for the crimes, and that they should also face a police inquiry.

He expressed concerns over the viability of the forensic hypnosis, the success rate of which he said is less than 20 percent.

“But (Yun) is unable to remember the details of the events, which is why we are trying everything we can.”

He also claimed the affidavit of admission written and submitted to the investigative authorities in Yun’s name 31 years ago may have been penned by someone else.

“(The affidavit) was composed eight months before Yun was caught as the perpetrator,” he said. “The penmanship and vocabulary used in the affidavit do not appear to be that of (Yun).”

Park said he “wholly believes in police’s sincerity in their efforts to reveal the truth,” applauding police for their success in drawing a confession from Lee. He also asked prosecutors for a “complementary role in the investigation” instead of engaging in “fault-finding” in the police probe.

“We will be seeing Lee Chun-jae at court, as there is a very high probability that he will be called in as a witness,” he said. “In cases where physical evidence is lacking, testimonies hold greater significance.”

Until Lee’s confession on Oct. 4, the rape and murder of the 13-year-old girl in September 1988 was believed to have been a copycat killing of a five-year murder spree in Hwaseong that occurred between 1986 and 1991.

On Sept. 19, Lee was identified as a prime suspect in the cold case serial killings after new DNA technology matched him to three of the murders.

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)