SEOUL – A South Korean court is scheduled to decide Tuesday on an appeal by a U.S. Forces Korea worker who was convicted last year of illegally dumping chemicals in the Han River, according to defendant’s lawyer.
Albert McFarland, the top morgue officer at Yongsan Garrison, has an appearance in Seoul District Court set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, defense attorney Kim Jong-pyo said Friday.
As morgue director, McFarland was accused of ordering two morgue workers to dump about 192 16-ounce bottles containing a mixture with formaldehyde in February 2000. Those chemicals ended up in the Han, and the incident drew outcries from environmental groups.
South Korean officials wanted to punish him in their system, and ultimately rejected an offer of a U.S.-imposed $4,300 fine. Instead, McFarland was tried in absentia in criminal court, where authorities ultimately handed down a six-month prison sentence.
Last month, for the first time in four years, McFarland appeared in court, in part to plead leniency as his appeal is decided, the South Korean news outlet Yonhap reported at the time.