February 05, 2014 12:56
A Korean court is seeking judicial cooperation from Japan to bring a man to justice for defacing a statue honoring women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.
Nobuyuki Suzuki is charged with driving a stake reading "Takeshima is Japanese territory" into the statute in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul in June 2011.
"Takeshima" is the Japanese name for Korea's Dokdo islets.
Suzuki was sued by surviving victims of the wartime atrocity but refuses to appear in court.
The Seoul Central District Court has asked the Japanese justice ministry to deliver a subpoena or extradite Suzuki.
The court set three trial dates in September and October last year and sent the subpoena to Suzuki in Japan, but the defendant did not show up.
A new trial date is now scheduled for June this year. The law does not permit judgment in absentia unless the whereabouts of the accused are unknown, so without Suzuki the trial cannot go ahead.
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