Military prosecutors today called for death sentences for seven of eight persons charged in the plot to assassinate the late president Park Chung Hee.
The request ended nine days of testimony and the military court-martial indicated that a sentence would be handed down Thursday, one day before Park's successor, Choi Kyu Hah, is to be inaugurated.
The death penalty was asked for Kim Jae Kyu, the former Korean Central Intelligence Agency director who admitted shooting the president, and for Kim Kae Won, the presidents chief secretary who was present at the slaying.
Five others, all KCIA employes who allegedly killed Park's bodyguards, were included in the prosecutors' death penalty request. The prosecutor asked for five years for an eighth person, a KCIA employe who allegedly attempted to conceal evidence.
There was no indication at the court-martial what would be the fate of former martial law commander Chung Seung Elwa, who was arrested in a military uprising last Wednesday evening and who had not been heard from since.
Generals who engineered his arrest said he was under interrogation in connection with the assassination and have implied indirectly that he was somehow associated with the alleged assassin, Kim Jae Kyu.
But Kim Jae Kyu, during one day of testimony late last week, suddenly blurted out a claim that the general never knew in advance about the plan to kill park.
Chung was dining nearby at the time of the killing. When he was martial law commander, an investigative reports said he had no connection with the plot and that he had acted to arrest Kim Jae Kyu as soon as the latter's role was discovered.
The request for a death penalty for Kim Jae Kyu came as no surprise but there had been speculation that lesser penalties would be sought for the others. Testimony during the proceedings generally presented the view that they had done what they did only at Kim Jae Kyu's command.