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June 19, 2017

RIP: Otto Warmbier, Returned from North Korea in a Coma after 17 Months Detention, Dies Days After His Return

Thanks, Kim!

Incidentally, Warmbier's fellow roommate recently spoke with the press and said Warmbier had done absolutely nothing wrong to warrant his imprisonment and abuse by the North Koreans.

He says Warmbier didn't steal that propaganda poster that the North Koreans say he did -- and used as a pretext to sentence him to 15 years of hard labor, and a fatal coma.

Their second night in Pyongyang was New Year's Eve and the whole group went out into the city square before coming back to the hotel for more drinking. This is the night that Warmbier allegedly committed the offense inside the hotel for which he would later be given a sentence of 15 years hard labor.

The charge was that Warmbier allegedly went into a staff-only area of the hotel and tore down a propaganda banner hanging on the wall, intending to steal it. Two months later, North Korean state media broadcast a staged event showing a tearful Warmbier confessing to that crime and begging for forgiveness, clearly under duress.


Gratton said that in the four days they spent together, Warmbier never said anything about a banner and that he saw zero evidence that Warmbier was planning any such act -- quite the opposite. The first Gratton heard of the alleged attempted theft was when it was mentioned in news reports weeks later. Gratton and Warmbier weren't together 24 hours each day, but they traveled together during the day and hung out each night.

"I've got nothing from my experiences with him that would suggest he would do something like that," he said. "At no stage did I ever think he was anything but a very, very polite kid."


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posted by Ace at 05:25 PM

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