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June 29, 2017

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Taiwanese burns for justice from SK court

SEOUL -- Taiwanese comedian Kuo Tzu-chien (郭子乾), who suffered second degree burns at a South Korean hotel in 2012, said he hopes to obtain justice in that country's high court, as a hearing got underway Wednesday.

At a press conference in Seoul, Kuo said the judges in a lower court rejected his claims last August, ruling that he was attempting to discredit the hotel and obtain damages.

Kuo said he later appealed the lower court ruling and is nowseeking justice in the high court.

The entertainer said he sustained second-degree burns on both thighs at the Ramada Hotel and Suites Seoul Namdaemun in January 2012 when hot water spilled on him from a defective kettle.

Displaying dated photos of a kettle that he said was in his room at the time, Kuo said the bottom fell out when he lifted it.

In the photos, there are strips of tape running down the side of the kettle and cracks in the bottom.

According to Kuo, the lower court ruled that he had damaged the kettle himself, a conclusion that he said was predetermined and showed that the court could not distinguish right from wrong. The court helped relieve the hotel of its responsibility to provide a properly functioning kettle, he said.

"The court rejected my claims on grounds that I had no supporting evidence ... and even accused me of deliberately breaking the kettle," Kuo said.

He said his family was staying with him in the room at the time and he would not have risked their safety or disrupted his packed work schedule by deliberately damaging the kettle and hurting himself.

After the lower court distorted facts, he said, he filed an appeal to defend his dignity and that of the Taiwanese people.

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