Extradition Trial of 1997 Itaewon Murder Suspect Begins in US

Write : 2011-11-03 07:54:45 Update : 2011-11-03 16:07:58

Extradition Trial of 1997 Itaewon Murder Suspect Begins in US

The extradition trial of the prime suspect in a 14-year old unresolved murder case in Seoul began in a U.S. district court in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Arthur Patterson, who was recently arrested in Los Angeles, and his attorneys and federal prosecutors held heated discussions on future trial procedures.

Patterson’s defense counsel is expected to focus on delaying his extradition by requesting an appeal or filing a writ of habeas corpus in the event the federal court rules to extradite him.

The federal court has rejected Patterson’s application for bail, noting he has a previous conviction in the U.S. for a violent crime and that South Korea has requested he be handed over to be investigated on the charge of murder.

Patterson and Korean American Edward Lee were arrested in 1997 as suspects in the murder of a Korean college student at a hamburger shop in Itaewon, Seoul. Patterson was indicted on charges of possessing a weapon but not murder. He was released on a special pardon in 1998.

Prosecutors reopened investigations on the Itaewon murder case in 1999 but were unable to question Patterson as he had left for the U.S. shortly after a travel ban against him was lifted.

The Justice Ministry belatedly requested Patterson’s extradition to the U.S. government in 2009.

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