Sunday, February 19, 2006

Charges against 1 South Korean Dropped

Hong Kong prosecutors have dropped their case against a South Korean protester who was arrested during last year's World Trade Organization meeting in the territory, citing insufficient evidence.

Evidence from a police officer, videotapes and witnesses failed to establish that Yang Kyung-kyu took part in an unauthorized assembly as charged, according to a prosecution statement read out in a court hearing Friday.

But prosecutors will go forward with unlawful assembly charges against two other South Koreans, Park In-hwan and Yun Il-kwon, the statement said.

If convicted, Park and Yun face a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.

The men were among more than 1,000 people rounded up after a Dec. 17 anti-globalization march in Hong Kong turned into a riot.

Hundreds of protesters, many of them South Koreans, broke through police lines and tried to storm the convention center where trade ministers from around the world were in the final hours of negotiations on a framework agreement aimed at reducing global trade barriers.

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