Woman found not guilty in Honduras murder case

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Woman found not guilty in Honduras murder case

A Korean woman charged with murder in Honduras was found not guilty in her court hearing on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said yesterday.

Han was arrested in August 2009 on suspicion of killing a Dutch woman in the Central American country in 2008. She went to Honduras to obtain a scuba diving instructor’s license and stayed at the same house as the Dutch woman.

The victim’s boyfriend had initially been named the primary suspect but was later released.

The ministry said a regional court in Roatan, the largest of the Honduran Bay Islands, found Han Ji-soo, 27, not guilty in a verbal ruling.

The official ruling is due Nov. 5 and there is no chance that a different conclusion will be made, ministry officials said.

The Honduran prosecution can appeal the verdict within 20 days from the first-court ruling, but ministry officials said it is unlikely the ruling will be overturned.

“Han will be able to come back home within the year,” said a Foreign Ministry official.

Han has always claimed her innocence.

She was freed on bail last December and has since been under house arrest at a Korean church in Honduras.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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