South Korean Court Dismisses U.S. Extradition Appeal For Paedophile Network Operator


A South Korean court has declined an extradition appeal made by the U.S. law enforcement agencies for a convicted man. The man was convicted of running a dark web pornographic website based on South Korea that sold videos across the globe for cryptocurrencies in the dark web. The condemned website’s operator named Son Jong-woo (then 24-years-old) has completed an eighteen-month sentence for contravening the South Korean Child Protection And Information Laws in April. Still, after that, he has remained in the custody after he was indicted on U.S. federal charges in Washington.

In the ruling of the same, the Seoul High Court stated that it had rejected the extradition appeal as the court believed that sending him to the United States might hamper the South Korean investigations into the sexual exploit content, as mentioned by a popular news agency. The court has also stated the ruling going on must not be interpreted as relieving Son, but he has to cooperate with the investigators and face the punishments properly actively. However, the contact of Son’s lawyer was not found.

Image: The Guardian

The officials had said last year that they had arrested at least 338 people belonging from 12 different countries. These people are linked to the network that they had described to be the giant child pornographic operations they had come across.

The alleged website was named “Welcome To Video”, and it relied on the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The website was solely accessible using the Tor browser, and it collected fees in Bitcoin from the users of the website. It sold access to 250,000 videos that depicted child sexual abuse and included footage of especially the young children being raped brutally. On its upload page, it had mentioned – “Do Not Upload Adult Porn”. The U.S. Justice Department wanted him to be deported in the bid to face money laundering and several other charges in an American Court.

The 18-month sentence served by Son has contrasted with various 15-year sentences that have been handed out to the other people being convicted in the U.S. case. This has led to the efforts in South Korea in the bid to impose stricter laws as well as penalties more stringent for the paedophilic offences.

Image: The Korea Herald

The extradition appeal rejection was a huge turn-off for the anti-child pornographic groups in South Korea. This is because they had hoped the extradition of Son to the United States would help determine the sexual crimes in South Korea. Some of the other men receiving child pornography via the website “Welcome To Video” have been sentenced 5-15 years of imprisonment. While for Son, he only had received suspended prison sentence but later sent him to jail but just for 18 months. The Anti-child-pornography activists of South Korea had also called for Son’s extradition, who have been infuriated by the light punishment of the local judiciary.

In the courtroom lately, Son had again apologized for his crime, stating that he would take any other punishment in reserve for him in South Korea.

Source: Yahoo News

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