Court orders man be paid damages for police tortureSeoul Central District Court yesterday decided partially in favor of a plaintiff surnamed Kim, who filed a claim for damages against the government for the mental abuse he endured as an alleged criminal suspect while being tortured by police officers at Yangcheon Police Station last year. Judge Lee Nam-gyun yesterday ordered the government to pay Kim 20 million won ($18,000).
The justice department said that “the police officers treated Kim harshly during the police investigation, which caused Kim pain,” and that “the country should be responsible to compensate for the damages caused by the unlawful actions of public officials.”
Five mid-ranking detectives working at Yangcheon Police Station in western Seoul, including the section chief of the violent crime unit, surnamed Seong, were charged with beating and torturing six suspected criminals being investigated for theft and drug possession last March.
The police officers are said to have gagged the suspects with toilet paper and yanked up their arms behind their backs while being handcuffed.
The court sentenced Seong to three years in prison with a five-year license suspension and three other officers had their licenses suspended for three years.
The court dismissed charges against the lowest-ranking officer.
The prosecutors lodged an appeal on the verdict, saying the sentence is too lenient.
The warrants came after the National Human Rights Commission determined that torture was still widely used on suspects in police custody in violation of Korean law after they received petitions by torture victims.
Kim filed a claim for damages, requesting 50 million won, in September last year.
By Yim Seung-hye [email@example.com]
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