WASHINGTON (Blacquire) – Beryl Howell, a US district judge in Washington ordered North Korea to pay damages to the parents of the University of Virginia student. Fred and Cindy Warmbier, lost their son Otto Warmbier, after release from captivity in North Korea in 2017.
Otto Warmbier’s killing
In April 2018, Warmbier’s parents sued North Korea over the death of their son. Otto, a 22-year-old student died in June 2017, a few days after returning from North Korea. He had spent time in prison from March 2016 and he was returned to the United States in a coma.
A coroner ruled that lack of oxygen and blood to the brain was the cause of death.
A student at the University of Virginia, Otto was in North Korea with a tour group. North Korean authorities claimed that he stole a propaganda poster. They then took him into custody and a court sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment.
Court documents record that his condition stunned his parents when they came to see him upon arrival in the US.
The documents add that the student was blind and deaf. Furthermore, he was unresponsive to his family’s attempts to calm him down and he jerked violently.
An expert said that his misaligned teeth, scarred wounds and condition indicated electrocution. During the court hearing, a neurologist agreed that Mr. Warmbier suffered brain damage.
The lawsuit describes the physical abuse Warmbier endured in North Korea. His parents got information that he had been in that condition for a year.
Ruling in Otto Warmbier case
The US court ordered Pyongyang to pay $501 million in damages for the torture and death of Otto Warmbier. However, the judgment is just a symbolic victory for now, since there is no way to make the accused nation to pay.
His parents said they were grateful that the court found the North Korean government responsible for their son’s death. They admitted that it was difficult for them and their family to go through the lawsuit and public trial. Nonetheless, they proceeded because they promised not to rest until they got justice. The judgement was thus a considerable win for them.
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