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BBC Three Documentary Unsolved: An Alibi For Omar? Explores The Murder Of Student Jong-Ok Shin

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BBC Three Documentary Unsolved: An Alibi For Omar? Explores The Murder Of Student Jong-Ok Shin

True crime fans, take note - BBC Three have an addictive new documentary for you to sink your teeth in to.

Unsolved? An Alibi For Omar observes the gruesome stabbing of South Korean student Jong-Ok Shin, known to her pals as Oki, as she walked home on a dark Bournemouth street in 2002.

You can watch a trailer for the series below.

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It looked like a cut and dry case to the Dorset police when they started pursuing their inquiries. Their prime suspect, Omar Benguit was a drug addict with over 60 criminal convictions (including having once stabbed a victim). A witness claimed she had driven him, covered in blood, to a crack den after he had murdered Oki.

But despite mounting evidence against him, Omar has maintained the fact he was innocent throughout the last 20 years he's spent behind bars - and now, due for parole in 2022, a journalist believes she may have discovered an alibi for Omar.

Omar was convicted over Oki's murder over 20 years ago (Credit: BBC)
Omar was convicted over Oki's murder over 20 years ago (Credit: BBC)

In Unsolved: An Alibi For Omar, Bronagh Munro delves deep into the controversial case - discovering that the prosecution's star witness against Omar has a history of making false allegations, while five other witnesses have admitted to lying about Omar in court.

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CCTV footage from Charminster Road at 3.15am on the night of the murder show a man that could be Omar walking down the street in clothes very similar to what he was wearing that night. If the man is Omar, it stands in stark contrast to the main witness's testimony, who claims he was tidying himself up at a crack den during that time. This could potentially provide an alibi for Omar, who has previously said he would "rather die in jail saying he didn't do it, than say he had done it and go home."

Oki had been walking home after a night out with friends (Credit: BBC)
Oki had been walking home after a night out with friends (Credit: BBC)

Together with Omar's family, who have also maintained his innocence, Bronagh goes on a journey to peel back the layers of this case to see if Omar's conviction is a huge miscarriage of justice.

The documentary, that dropped on BBC Three on 5th May, has already convinced viewers of his innocence.

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"Wow, Dorset Police really have some questions to answer," said one viewer on Twitter. "Free Omar Benguit!"

Another person simply wrote: "Free Omar."

Having previously lost two appeals to overturn his conviction, Omar's family are hoping the new evidence uncovered may help in having this third appeal to the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) push forward.

Bronagh uncovered some shocking new evidence (Credit: BBC)
Bronagh uncovered some shocking new evidence (Credit: BBC)
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Dorset Police declined to give any comment during the making of the programme, but Detective Chief Superintendent Ben Hargreaves said in a statement that the investigation into Jong-Ok Shin's death had been thorough, detailed and very complex.

"Benguit appealed against his conviction, but this appeal was dismissed in July 2005 by judges at the Court of Appeal," he said.

"The case was reviewed by the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) and referred to the Court of Appeal for a second time on the basis of the reliability of a prosecution witness and the suggestion of a possible alternative suspect. The appeal was dismissed in April 2014.

Omar is eligible for parole in 2022 (Credit: BBC)
Omar is eligible for parole in 2022 (Credit: BBC)
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"This case has been through a series of reviews and any matter surrounding concerns regarding this conviction is ultimately a matter for the CCRC. Dorset Police would follow the direction and instigate investigations if directed by the courts and responsible authorities.

"As always, our thoughts are with Oki's family and friends who remain devastated by their loss."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Entertainment News, True Crime, BBC, TV News, TV & Film, TV Entertainment, Documentary

Kimberley Bond
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