SOUTH KOREA: Grim Verdict

A death sentence draws fire

From the very first, the trial had seemed more a political charade than an exercise of justice. The defendants complained that they were unable to obtain proper counsel because more than 50 lawyers, fearful of South Korea's repressive political climate, refused to represent them. When they proposed to introduce a long list of character witnesses from Japan and the U.S., the request was turned down. Ultimately, the prosecution's own case rested almost solely on a series of "confessions," which the defendants repudiated, testifying that they had been...

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