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Prosecutors not to appeal acquittal of Korean on drug rap.

FUKUOKA, July 31 Kyodo

Prosecutors said Tuesday they will not appeal against a court decision to acquit a 62-year-old Korean resident of Japan who served 16 years in prison for drug smuggling in 1980 and 1981.

The Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office said it decided not to appeal the acquittal because it would be difficult to present new evidence to challenge the not-guilty ruling at an appeal hearing.

On July 17, the Fukuoka District Court acquitted Kim Shu Gen of Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture, of the smuggling charges in a retrial, saying he was convicted on false testimony by an alleged accomplice.

Mototeru Ishibashi, deputy chief of the office, said, ''It is difficult to submit supplementary evidence as the company owner has already died,'' referring to the accomplice, whose testimony was ruled unreliable by the court at the retrial.

In 1985, the Supreme Court upheld a 16-year prison term given to Kim by the Fukuoka court for conspiring with the company owner and smuggling 4 kilograms of stimulant drugs from South Korea in October 1980 and June 1981, and for injuring a man who served as a carrier of the drugs.

Kim, a former moneylender whose Japanese name is Kotaro Tendo, had insisted since his arrest in July 1981 that he was not guilty of the smuggling charge.

The company owner told lawyers shortly before his death in October 1992 that Kim has nothing to do with the smuggling case.

The owner had testified that he smuggled the drugs because he had been threatened by Kim. The owner, who was given an eight-year prison term, told the lawyers that he gave false testimony against Kim because he had a grudge against him.

The lawyers filed a request with the district court for a retrial and submitted new evidence, including new testimony from the company owner which was tape-recorded before his death, and the district court decided in 1996 to grant a retrial.

While acquitting Kim of the smuggling charges, the court sentenced him to one and a half years in prison on a charge of inflicting injuries. Kim will not have to serve any more time in jail, however, as he has already completed the 16-year prison term, his lawyers said earlier.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Aug 6, 2001
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