Script for Testimony at Trial

あおやま, ミナ

This research paper is dedicated to Enzo, one of our cherished Members of this society, so that he may perform accordingly to the highest academic and moral standards as is expected of him at Court the following Monday (11 Jul 2016).

  • Questions are phrased towards Defense Attorney’s Goal :
  • Enzo’s Goal :

KEY ISSUES AT DISPUTE : 

Q) Why did the Military Police not respond to the off post scene upon request of local authorities (Korean National Police, KNP) on the night of the incident?

A) Upon relaying the KNP’s message to my US counterpart Desk Sergeant, I was given orders to notify KNP that we cannot send out any Military Police units to the off post scene that night.

Q) Who gave you such orders?

A) US and ROK counterparts respect one another’s grade and rank and treat one another accordingly. I was not in charge at that time. I was not in a position to make any decisions. The Desk Sergeant made the decision at that time.

Q) Why do you believe the Desk Sergeant made that decision?

A) I am not a mind reader. I also do not believe why I think the Desk Sergeant made that decision is of any importance or holds any merit.

Q) Did the Desk Sergeant explain to you why he/she had made that decision?

A) Yes he/she did. Our given orders were clear to her and to me both. We send out Military Police off post to receive custody of SOFA Members only if they are getting charged. Based upon the initial call / notification from KNP, the US Soldier was not getting charged. Therefore, we won’t be able to send out Military Police off post which raises risk of an unnecessary traffic accident or other unnecessary sensitive incidents without cause.

Q) Who gave you those orders?

A) The Provost Marshal and Operations Sergeant of the Provost Marshal’s Office.

Q) What was the content of the initial call from KNP / KNP’s message? or Was the US Soldier that night not charged?

A) KNP initially called this station to notify us of a possible DUI (Driving Under Influence) off post by a US Soldier and requested for Military Police presence so that they may transfer custody of the US Soldier. I asked KNP whether the US Soldier was arrested and the KNP said No. I asked whether KNP had breathalyzed the US Soldier and the KNP said No. KNP stated that the US Soldier had accompanied the KNP to the Yongsan Main KNP station on his own will / by consent and was currently at the station.

Q) Why did you ask those questions?

A) The Desk Sergeant wanted me to double check and ask  for clarifications so that we are operating by the book. He/she said that if KNP had not arrested the US Soldier, then the KNP does not have custody over the US Soldier. There can be no transfer of custody over an individual to the Military Police if the KNP never had custody from the beginning. It’s legally and logically impossible. I asked this question several times to the KNP over the phone. Then, I politely explained the above, however, the KNP refused to listen.

Q) Based on your work experience, was the Desk Sergeant’s decision correct?

A) The PMO Operations responded to the situation to the best of our abilities.

Q) Did you inform the US Soldier that he/she may leave the police station?

A) Yes. The US Soldier was informed by the Desk Sergeant that he/she may leave the KNP Station for he was not arrested nor getting charged.

CHANGE OF STRATEGY / POINT THAT NEEDS TO GET THROUGH : 

  • KNP should have notified the PMO from the very beginning by stating that “a US Soldier was arrested on scene for the crimes of DUI, Traffic Accident with Bodily Injuries, and Fleeing the Scene. Please send over Military Police so that we can transfer custody so that we can subpoena the subject at a later date for investigations. The US Soldier must be accompanied by a US SOFA Representative personnel.”
  • Yongsan Main KNP Station Traffic Section needs English speaking personnel.

RELEVANT LAWS : 

  • ROK-US Status of Forces Agreement Article 22
  • ROK Criminal Code and Procedure
  • Special

Sources

  • 미군 범죄와 한 미 SOFA, 주한미군범죄근절운동본부
  • 법과 생활 케이스식 법학 통론 제 6판, 최종고

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minaJoining in 2015, Ms. Aoyama is a Junior Associate at YULS. The comment, writing, or column does not represent the official position of YULS.

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