A local court has acquitted four conscientious objectors indicted for refusing to partake in the mandatory military service. 

The Suwon District Court said on Wednesday that Judge Lee Seung-hoon on Monday found a 21-year-old Jehovah’s Witness innocent.

The man living in Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi Province was notified in November to join the Army in about a month's time, but refused to do so citing religious reasons. The judge also acquitted on Monday three other men indicted on the same charge. 

The judge said that although the duty of national defense is a constitutional duty of every South Korean, holding fire arms is not the only way to safeguard the country as history has shown. 

The rulings came ahead of a planned deliberation by the Constitutional Court on a petition filed in 2015 by three convicted conscientious objectors over the constitutionality of the military law that punishes conscientious objectors. 

The Constitutional Court dismissed two similar petitions in 2004 and 2011.