October 05, 2004 19:17
Serial murder suspect Yoo Young-chul did not show up at his trial on Tuesday. Yoo, who is charged with killing a total of 21 women and elderly people, has had outbursts during the course of the trial, attacking the judge on one occasion and attempting suicide on another.
The Seoul Central District Court said that Yoo had submitted a statement explaining his refusal to attend. In the statement, Yoo says that he no longer has anything to say in the trial. The court has postponed the trial until Oct. 11 and said that if Yoo refuses to attend the trial then, it will review the matter at that time to decide whether it is necessary to force him to attend the trial. Criminal law enables the court to conduct a trial and pass sentence while the accused is not present, in case where it is impossible to force those accused to attend their trial.
Yoo made a failed suicide attempt in his prison cell in Seoul. At around midnight on Oct. 3, he left two suicide notes and attempted to hang himself with electrical wire from a wall fan in his cell, but was found by prison guards who watch him around the clock, said the Justice Ministry.
(Jeon Su-yong, firstname.lastname@example.org>
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