US approves S. Korean extradition request for suspect in 1997 Burger King slaying

October 25, 2012

Stars and Stripes on October 24, 2012 released the following:

“By ASHLEY ROWLAND AND YOO KYONG CHANG
Stars and Stripes

SEOUL — A U.S. federal court has approved the extradition of a suspect in the 1997 slaying of a South Korean university student near U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Justice.

Police initially charged two 18-year-old Americans with the murder of Cho Joong-pil, who died after being stabbed repeatedly in the bathroom of a Burger King in Seoul’s Itaewon district.

Arthur Patterson, who was released after serving time on lesser charges in the case, was indicted for murder by South Korean prosecutors in December 2011.

Following the stabbing, Patterson — a dependent of a U.S. Forces Korea contract worker — was charged with possessing a deadly weapon and destroying evidence. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison but was released in early 1998 as part of the annual Aug. 15 Liberation Day amnesty granted by the South Korean government to approximately 2,000 convicts.

At the time, prosecutors promised to pursue harsher charges, but Patterson was mistakenly allowed to leave the country.

In 2006, a Seoul court ordered the South Korean government to pay the victim’s family the equivalent of $34,000 for mistakes made in handling the case, and the murder charge against Paterson finally was filed in December.

A prosecutor with the justice ministry said Wednesday it is unclear when Patterson, who has several legal maneuvers available to try to prevent his extradition, might return to South Korea or when his trial could begin.

The second defendant in the case, Eddie Lee, a Korean-American with no links to the U.S. military, was sentenced to life in prison for the attack. His sentence was later reduced to 20 years and he was ultimately acquitted for lack of evidence after serving 18 months.

The case has attracted widespread attention in South Korea because of the perception that the defendants received lenient treatment and was the basis for a popular 2009 movie, “The Case of the Itaewon Homicide.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and South Korea here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Prime Suspect in 1997 Murder Faces Extradition from U.S.

October 11, 2011

The prime suspect in the murder of a university student in Itaewon, Seoul 14 years ago has been caught in the U.S. and is undergoing extradition proceedings. The Justice Ministry on Monday said Arthur Patterson, the then-17-year-old son of a U.S. Forces Korea civilian employee, is accused of stabbing Cho Jung-pil, then a 23-year-old student at Hongik University, nine times in the toilet of a hamburger restaurant in Itaewon in April 1997.

Edward Lee, a Korean-American who was 18 at the time, was at the scene with Patterson, was accused and tried for the murder, but the Supreme Court acquitted him in September 1999 due to insufficient evidence. Patterson, who was only indicted for possession of lethal weapons, was released in a special amnesty in August 1998 and left for the U.S. at the end of August 1999, just before Lee was cleared.

Right after the amnesty, Cho’s family filed another complaint against Patterson and the investigation was reopened. However, the indictment was dropped in October 2002 because Patterson was out of the country.

But when public opinion soured after the film “Where the Truth Lies” based on the murder was released in 2009, public prosecutors requested Patterson’s extradition to the U.S. at the end of that year.

Patterson was arrested by U.S. authorities in May and has since been in detention. The extradition case is being heard by a Californian court. Korean prosecutors believe that there is a high chance that it will be successful.

They believed Patterson is the prime suspect because Cho’s blood was found on his clothes in a DNA test and Lee testified that he saw Patterson stab Cho.

The murder took place 14 years and six months ago, just six months shy of the 15-year statute of limitation for murder. But under the Criminal Procedure Law, the statute of limitations freezes the day a suspect flees overseas, leaving more than 10 years in this case.

“It’s hard to make any predictions because extradition hearings can take a very long time in the U.S., and we don’t know what the Californian court will decide,” a prosecution spokesman said. “But we hope that Patterson will be extradited and punished in Korea.”

This article was published by the Chosunilbo on October 11, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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