By Jamie Grimwood and John M. Rodgers
The Three Wise Monkeys is in possession of new evidence suggesting firstly, that Pvt. Andre Fisher was incarcerated largely based on what was perceived to be conflicting testimony and that secondly, there is a crucial witness to events of the 18 and 19 November 2010, the day before and of the crime. It is believed that this individual, a member of the US Army, matches the description of the person seen fleeing the 2010 crime scene where the alleged aggravated robbery of a Korean taxi driver took place.
Immediately following his arrest in the morning of 19 November 2010, it appears as though no statement was given by Fisher, nor was he sworn in in any capacity. No law enforcement or legal paperwork appears to contain his signature or fingerprint before 26 November 2010. Although the reason behind this can be attributed to the standard operating procedure when processing USFK soldiers from ROK law enforcement to USFK military police, it meant that no statement was taken from the suspect for seven days following the crime. These seven days may have been vital in PVT Fisher issuing a thorough recount of his whereabouts at the time of the crime and the hours beforehand.
On 26 November 2010 Pvt. Fisher in an interview with two South ROK Police Officers, Fisher was asked,
“Can the suspect provide an account of how he came to Itaewon?”
“After finishing work in the base at Dongducheon, I met a friend… to go to COEX shopping mall in Gangnam and there we met an ordinary American Jerry Jeffrey… and we shopped there for 4-5 hours and after spending time eating dinner we rode his car to Itaewon. Then we were going to a club but did not go to the club and spent time looking and walking around the streets of Itaewon. During that time, I was arrested by the police.”
Fisher goes on to state that on the night of the crime he was in the company of “Jarrod Jeffry” and that he (Fisher) had lost his cell phone the day before his arrest, “at the military base.”
Andre Fisher stated to 3WM, prior to 3WM obtaining this transcript, that he refused to sign this initial statement due to the officers questioning him “trying to twist” his words. Interestingly, the bottom of this interview transcript clearly states “Declarant: Refused to sign.”
PVT Fisher was again questioned on 9 March 2011. This statement contradicted his previous statement on 26 November 2010. Within Fisher’s second statement, he claimed that on 18 November 2010 he met Jarrod Jeffry at 1300 at Bosan Station in Dongducheon, that he lost his cell phone in a taxi that morning and that “…around 1 p.m. I met… Jeffrey and shopped and ate at COEX Mall in Samseong-dong until 12 at night, and the next day at 00:40 AM, I rode… Jeffrey’s car to the UN Club at Itaewon.”
In what appears as confusion on both sides, the prosecutor then asks if Fisher claimed in his original interview that: “he finished working at his base… on 2010.11.18 around 7 p.m. and rode the subway with a friend… to COEX Mall in Gangnam, and there he met… Jeffrey and shopped and dined for 4-5 hours, and after 12 at night he rode… Jeffrey’s car to Itaewon.”
According to the original transcript, Fisher did not make this statement. It is not clear from evidence what information the prosecutor is working from, if any.
Peculiarly, Fisher responds “…when I made a statement at the police office, I said that I went with my friend Miles and Jerry Jeffrey to COEX in… Jeffrey’s car.”
This also contradicts the transcription of the initial interview in which Fisher states that “I met a friend… to go to COEX shopping mall in Gangnam… and there we met… Jeffrey.”
Due to these widely conflicting statements and perhaps best described in the court report issued by the 5th Criminal Department of Seoul District Court on 2 August 2011, “There is something suspicious about his testimony.”
Yet, despite widely contradictory alibis there is a key factor to consider: Fisher was unquestionably sentenced based on highly questionable accounts of evidence, little of which was presented to him in detailed and accurate translation. Strangely, the same documentation clearly states “…although it is true that there is no hard evidence that the cash and the money clip that the defendant was found to have on him are the same as the ones belonging to the victim… it is fairly arguable that these are the same.” Add this the court’s assertion that because the money found on Fisher at the time of his arrest–14,000KRW–was in order, it must have been the taxi driver’s as 1) the taxi driver stated that that was how he carried his money (after seeing the bills) and 2) it is “unusual” for people to carry their money this way. The fact that the original amount stolen from the taxi driver some 20 minutes earlier was 94,000KRW is largely dismissed.
This document, the same document used to make a decision to uphold the sentencing of the private further accounts that “In his initial testimony to the police, he said that the night before the crime took place, he met with his friend… around 7:00 p.m… took the subway to a shopping mall… at Itaewon, met there with a man called… Jeffry, spent some time together, said bye to… (his friend) past midnight, rode in… Jeffry’s car to Hangang-jin and was… arrested. But his testimony to the prosecution was different.”
This is false and does not match what PVT Fisher said in his initial testimony to the police. Fisher’s initial testimony to the police was contradicted by his second interview, recounted four months after the date in question.
Neither Fisher nor the legal documentation sentencing him appears to uphold consistent or accurate information.
The delay in covering further aspects of Fisher’s case falls into two categories. Firstly, 3WM is waiting on varying degrees of clearance from the US Military to conduct a number of interviews with key figures surrounding the detention of PVT Fisher, as well as further acquisition of otherwise unobtainable documentation. Secondly, there is a key witness to the Fisher case in possession of crucial information that could potentially close the book on a large proportion of the story. This witness has continued to be highly evasive; despite numerous opportunities the individual have not come forward. 3WM has succeeded in locating this individual–who is no longer in South Korea–and will report on any and all further information obtained.
Dae-hyun Ji and Elena J contributed research and translation.Print This Post