Public Funeral for Former President Roh on Friday

      May 25, 2009 07:34

      A public funeral service will be held on Friday following a seven-day mourning period for former President Roh Moo-hyun, who died Saturday aged 63. Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and his predecessor Han Myeong-sook will likely head a committee preparing the event.

      Ceremonies will be held at Jinyeong Public Stadium in Gimhae and at Bongha Village, where Roh's private home is situated, both in South Gyeongsang Province. Roh's family have agreed to the public funeral, to which former presidents are entitled by law.

      Mourners continued to flock to the Bongha Village Hall on Sunday, where Roh's body lies in state. An estimated 18,500 people had visited the hall as of 4 p.m. on Sunday. Some 7,300 mourners also paid tribute to the former President at a temporary altar near the front gate of Deoksu Palace in Seoul. Mourners waited in a 1.5 km-long line through the underpass of City Hall Subway Station near the palace up to Cheonggye Plaza across Taepyeongro Street.

      Police concluded Roh committed suicide by jumping to his death from a mountaintop near his home given a suicide note stored on his personal computer, an autopsy, testimony by a bodyguard who accompanied him when he died, and an identification check of belongings found at the scene.

      Lee Byung-choon, the bodyguard who stood nearby when Roh jumped off the cliff, told police there was nothing he could do because everything happened so fast.

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