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July 2009
Tim Bilecki

Army PFC Fully Acquitted After Being Charged for Stabbing on Dubious Evidence

Attempted Murder, Obstruction of Justice
Yongsan, Korea
Army Private First Class - E-3
Full Acquittal - Not Guilty of all Charges and Specifications.

In a case that drew significant attention, an Army Private First Class based in Yongsan, Korea, was charged with attempted murder and obstruction of justice at a general court martial. The charges originated from a gang-related brawl outside Kings Club in the Itaewon area of Seoul. During this chaotic incident, a Soldier was stabbed multiple times in the chest. Key moments of the brawl were captured on CCTV, showcasing a tumultuous scene with various Soldiers involved, some seen assaulting the alleged victim with bottles.

Korea Court Martial lawyer Tim Bilecki led the defense in this high-stakes trial. The defense strategy hinged on the ambiguity of the CCTV footage, which did not clearly depict the actual stabbing. Bilecki and his team focused on the possibility that the Soldiers caught on camera assaulting the victim with bottles were the real culprits of the stabbing, thus shifting suspicion away from their client.

A critical moment in the trial was the inability of the alleged victim to positively identify the Private First Class as the assailant. This, combined with the absence of key physical evidence such as the alleged weapon and the PFC’s clothes from the night of the incident, significantly weakened the prosecution’s case. Additionally, the presence of “wanted” posters around the base, posted by CID seeking more information even at the time of the trial, was used effectively by the defense to suggest ongoing uncertainty about the perpetrator’s identity.

These arguments, coupled with the careful dismantling of the prosecution’s case, led to the PFC being fully acquitted of all charges and specifications. The verdict not only exonerated the PFC but also highlighted the critical role of diligent defense in ensuring justice within the military legal system.

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