Prosecutors say attempted-murder trial in Korea should end by Sept. 17
SEOUL — South Korean prosecutors say the attempted murder trial of a U.S. Army soldier likely will conclude Sept. 17.
In two days of testimony this week, prosecutors questioned two U.S. soldiers, a South Korean soldier attached to a U.S. Army unit and two South Korean civilians who witnessed the incident.
But, prosecutors said, they’ve yet to question Pfc. John C. Humphreys, the 21-year-old accused of stabbing a South Korean man earlier this year.
According to police and prosecutors, Humphreys and a group of other soldiers were drinking and causing a disturbance in a Seoul neighborhood in the early morning of May 15. When a 27-year-old Korean man tried to intervene, police said, Humphreys stabbed him.
At his arraignment earlier, Humphreys said he acted in self-defense.
If the soldier is convicted, said a spokesman for the Seoul Prosecutors Office, Status of Forces Agreement Division, the government will ask for a five-year prison term.
Humphreys, of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, was arrested by South Korean police and turned over to his unit during the investigation. Last month, Humphreys became only the second U.S. soldier handed over to South Korean officials for pre-trial confinement.
Under 2001 revisions of the U.S.-South Korean status of forces agreement, U.S. soldiers now can be held before a trial if charged with any of a dozen serious crimes, including attempted murder.
After the stabbing, 8th Army officials expressed regret for the incident and promised full cooperation. Police officials said four other U.S. soldiers and a South Korean soldier assigned to a U.S. Army unit also were investigated in the case. No further charges were filed.
U.S. military officials declined to say whether the other soldiers received non-judicial punishment.