The biggest trial in the history of South Korea opened in Seoul July 5 - to judge former officials of the ousted Syngman Rhee Administration.
The biggest trial in the history of South Korea opened in Seoul July 5 - to judge former officials of the ousted Syngman Rhee Administration. The biggest crowd on record- estimated at 10,000 - waited outside the court at the opening.
The trial is the first of a series involving 86 defendants. At this hearing 30 leaders of the deposed government and the former ruling Liberal party appeared on charges of rigging the March 15 Presidential election.
The first five defendants who allegedly played major roles in rigging the election, were former Home Minister Choi In-kyoo; former Vice-Home Minister Lee Sung-woo; former national Plice Director Lee Kang-hak; Choi Byung-hwan, former provincial-affairs director at the Home Ministry, and Han Hi-suk, Mr. Rhee's campaign manager.
Other defendants included nine former Cabinet Minister and former leading bankers. In some cases the penalty is death, in others an maximum of 20 year's gaol.
Outside the court, some 10,000 persons swarmed in the City Hall plaza, about 500 yards away, to follow the court proceedings on loudspeaker. More than 1,000 national policemen and 300 military policemen were mobilized around the court against possible disturbances. Barbed-wire barricades were erected around the court and court officials had to show identification cards.
Ex-Home Minister Choi admitted to the court July 8 he ordered rigging the elections to keep Syngman Rhee in power.