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Cho Du-sun case can’t be retried, says Cho Kuk

Dec 07,2017
The Blue House said Wednesday it is “impossible” to ask the judiciary for a retrial of the infamous Cho Du-sun case, which revolves around a 57-year-old man kidnapping and raping an eight-year-old girl in 2008, only to receive 12 years in prison, saying the country’s legal system does not allow the public plea.

The statement was relayed by President Moon Jae-in’s senior secretary for civil affairs, Cho Kuk, during a Facebook Live session, the third of its kind, after more than 610,000 people signed a petition on the Blue House’s website to urge Moon to keep the rapist in jail for life.

Cho Kuk’s response was part of Moon’s promise that his office would respond to any Blue House petition with 200,000 signatures or more via Facebook Live.

The Cho Du-sun case, also known as the Na-young case, after the survivor’s name, has gained attention over the past several months after local media outlets interviewed the girl’s father, who said he and his family were still suffering.

The survivor, who is known to have taken the college entrance exam last month, was said by doctors to have lost 80 percent of her colon and genital organs as a result of the rape.

Cho Du-sun will be released on Dec. 13, 2020.

While the Blue House “deeply empathizes with public anger,” said the Blue House secretary on Facebook Live, “a retrial can only be requested to benefit the person who is receiving the punishment, such as when he or she turns out to be innocent or when there’s clear-cut evidence that his or her conviction was dealt with too heavily.”

At this point, Cho Kuk continued, “It’s impossible to extend Cho Du-sun’s jail term to life imprisonment or levy some other kind of stronger penalty.”

The Blue House aide blamed the court for offering Cho Du-sun leniency back then for being drunk, adding that the legal system has changed since then to eliminate such decisions.

“Cho Du-sun will have to wear an electronic tracking device on his ankle for seven more years after he leaves prison, and he’ll also be put on probation,” said Cho Kuk. “He won’t be isolated for eternity, but we will keep an eye out on him and search for ways to increase the effectiveness of the supervision.”

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, KANG TAE-HWA [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]