Extra! Korea

May 27, 2009

Police to reinvestigate Roh Moo-hyun’s death

Filed under: crime, hard to categorize, politics, suicide — extrakorea @ 1:18 am

According to the Chosun Ilbo, there are growing calls for the reinvestigation of ex-President Roh Moo-hyun’s death, after it was revealed that a bodyguard, Lee, who had claimed earlier to have been with Roh just before his final minutes, actually was not at the scene at the time of his death.

Based on the bodyguard’s initial testimony, a 94-man investigative team at South Gyeongsang Province police announced Sunday that Roh arrived at Owl Rock around 6:20 a.m., talked with Lee Byung-choon, the head of his security detail, for about 20 minutes, and jumped off the cliff at around 6:45 a.m.

But an official at a nearby temple where the memorial tablets of Roh’s parents are enshrined on Tuesday said someone who appeared to be Lee visited the temple at the time of Roh’s suicide. The temple is 200 m from Owl Rock.

Questioned again Monday, Lee reversed his initial testimony and said Roh told him to go to the temple. And under fresh questioning Tuesday night, Lee said he could not find Roh after sending away a mountain climber who approached the two.

From a high-profile suicide, to nuclear tests, to missile launches, to swine flu quarantines, to this, it’s never a dull moment here on the Korean Peninsula.

Edit/Update:

Yonhap News reports that there will, in fact, be a reinvestigation, seeing as how the bodyguard has changed his story at least twice (“I saw him jump,” “He sent me to the temple,” “I was escorting this other hiker away, and when I came back, he was gone.”).
This item caught my eye.

The security guard belatedly looked for the missing former president and spotted him at 6:45 a.m. The guard then carried Roh on his back to a car at the residence before rushing him to a nearby hospital,” said the commissioner.

Good Lord. When someone has fallen or been in a car wreck, you call 911 (or 119, in this case) and don’t move the person, or you might aggravate their injuries, especially neck injuries. Unfortunately, this kind of ignorance is the norm here. I’m very disappointed to see this lack of common sense even from a bodyguard to an ex-head-of-state. Such basic first aid should have been a required part of his training. And he carried him piggy-back, instead of with a fireman’s carry. Unbelievable. Actually, not really. This is Korea. T.I.K.

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1 Comment »

  1. From what I have seen, ambulances are ignored here -they are no faster than any other vehicle – and the attendants are not well trained.

    Neither do the police seem to have much first aid training. I saw police officers load a bonelessly-limp woman into the back of a taxi to get to the hospital after a motorcycle accident.

    The changes in the guard’s story upset and surprise me more than the bad level of care Roh received.

    Comment by kwandongbrian — May 27, 2009 @ 7:43 pm


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