Pirate’s fingerprint found on rifle

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Pirate’s fingerprint found on rifle

The Samho Jewelry investigation is now in prosecutors’ hands and officials at the Busan Prosecutors’ Office are struggling to prove which of the pirates shot the heroic captain of the ship, who has stable vital signs but may lose the use of an arm shattered by a bullet.

“Last week, the results of DNA and fingerprint tests from the pirates’ rifles, machine guns and the triggers of their [rocket-propelled grenade guns] were received,” said an official at the prosecutors’ office yesterday. “One of the fingerprints from a rifle belonged to Arai Mahomed.”

Mahomed has been considered the most likely pirate to have shot Captain Seok Hae-gyun ever since he briefly admitted doing so upon being brought to Korea, which he quickly recanted. His fellow pirates and members of the ship’s crew also identified Mahomed as the shooter to police before the case was handed over to prosecutors. Mahomed now denies he shot Seok.

The official said that Mahomed’s print on the rifle can prove he handled the weapon, but isn’t proof that he shot Seok.

The prosecutors’ investigation is going slowly because the pirates’ two main translators have complained of extreme fatigue. But the prosecutors’ office has expressed confidence that they will be able to indict the pirates by Feb. 25.

Meanwhile, Seok’s vital signs are stable after going through an operation last Friday for abdominal wall reconstruction as well as bone reconstruction. The captain is still sedated.

However, doctors at the Ajou University Hospital said yesterday that Seok may never regain the full use of his left arm because bones in the arm were shattered after a bullet went through Seok’s wrist during the military operation that rescued the Samho Jewelry. An official at the hospital said that the arm would need multiple surgeries because its bones were shattered into four to five pieces.

“If it had not been tended to properly, the arm would have needed to be amputated,” said the official.

By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article [연합]

檢 "AK 소총서 해적 아라이 지문 확인"
살인미수 직접증거는 안돼..범행 여전히 부인

삼호주얼리호 석해균 선장에게 총을 난사한 혐의를 받는 소말리아 해적 마호메드 아라이가 범행을 계속 부인하는 가운데 해군이 압수한 AK 소총에서 아라이의 지문이 나왔다.

그러나 이것이 아라이의 살인미수 혐의를 입증할 직접 증거는 되지 못한다고 이번 사건을 수사중인 부산지검의 정점식 2차장 검사는 14일 밝혔다.

정 2차장 검사는 이날 기자들과 만나 "지난주 중에 해적들의 AK 소총과 기관총, 로켓포의 멜방과 방아쇠 부분 등에 대한 DNA 감식결과가 나왔다"면서 "이 가운데 AK 소총에서 아라이의 지문도 나왔다"고 말했다.

그는 "그러나 그것이 (아라이를 포함한 해적들이) 총을 만졌다는 의미는 되지만 해적들이 총을 만졌다는 것은 인정하고 있기 때문에 크게 유의미한 결과는 아니다"고 설명했다.

아라이의 자백여부에 대해 정 2차장 검사는 "현재 수사가 30~40% 진척된 상황으로 해적들이 물어보는 것에 대해서는 잘 대답한다"면서도 "특이한 변동사항은 없다"고 말해 여전히 …

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