Extension granted for murder trial of Korean man in Australia

Murdered Korean Kim-Min-tae
James Hyams
Written by James Hyams

BRISBANE – Another extension has been granted for the trial in the murder of Korean national Kim Min-tae, who went missing in Brisbane, Australia in December last year.

The Director of Public Prosecutions said they were still waiting on professional reports relating to the case.

“The indication is that the endocrinologists report is at least 4 weeks away, the ballistics report is another 2 weeks away before being finalized.

“I don’t have an indication as to the statements and timeframes in relation to Telco – so that’s telecommunications. Perhaps I think we could seek disclosure by the fourth of January,” prosecutions said.

An artist's impression of Hwang Sang-hyun.

An artist’s impression of Hwang Sang-hyun.

The alleged killer Hwang Sang-hyun has been remanded in custody at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Facility until a full review of the case February 2.

Information previously available indicates Kim posted an ad on Gumtree requesting an exchange of $AU15,000 of his savings into Korean Won.

Kim’s brother had spoken with him a week before his murder.

“I knew he wanted to come back [to Korea] and commence his studies on his own without getting any help from his parents,” he said.

“His friends are contacting me, leaving messages of support.”
According to Kim’s flatmate Jacob Park a man arrived at their Cannon Hill home around 13:45 to discuss the exchange.

Another one of Kim’s flatmates urged Kim to stay at the house.

“My friend told him ‘No, no, no don’t go, it’s weird’.”
“He said ‘I will go outside and say I don’t want to go with you’,” the friend said.
Park said Kim took the cash with him when he met the person who was waiting outside in a car.
Kim’s flatmates were concerned when he did not return by 14:30 and they could not reach him on his mobile.

Murdered Korean man Min Tae Kim. Photo: Facebook

Murdered Korean man Kim Min-tae. Photo: Facebook

They contacted the police who started investigations that lead them to a shallow grave on Dakar road in the Brisbane suburb of Algester.

Forensics confirmed the grave contained the body of Kim and that he was probably strangled from behind.

Kim’s phone and some of his clothes had been removed.

Kim’s missing clothing was found in an industrial bin near Hwang’s Peel street residence in South Brisbane.

Hwang used to live at the residence where Kim’s body was exhumed.

Kim was on a working holiday visa for nearly 2 years.

In that time he picked fruit in North Queensland, worked in a meat packing facility in Brisbane, went skydiving in the picturesque Byron Bay, visited the iconic township of Montville, attended the Brisbane Full Gospel Church, and is believed to have been enjoying life in Australia.

“He is a nice guy, quiet and he’s always happy with Australian life,” his friend said.
It is believed that Kim made either 2 or 3 withdrawals of $AU4,000 on the day he disappeared.

Police work near a shallow grave found on a property in Algester. Photo: Nine News

Police work near a shallow grave found on a property in Algester. Photo: Nine News

Initial reports indicate Hwang was found in possession of $AU8,000 cash.

The defendant is a 28-year-old Korean national on a working holiday visa.

Police believe the victim and defendant were not known to each other.

More than 35,000 Working Holiday Visas were granted to South Koreans visiting Australia last financial year.

About the author

James Hyams

James Hyams

James Hyams juggles several careers including being a journalist and a social worker. James has an avid interest in 'telling it as it is', exposing matters of public interest, and reviving investigative journalism in the new digital era. Testimony to this is his thesis titled: “U.S. Government secrecy and the withering watchdog: Is WikiLeaks the answer?”

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