South Korea court clears blogger of charges

[JURIST] The Seoul Central District Court on Monday acquitted a South Korean blogger charged with spreading misleading financial information online. Park Dae-sung had been charged [UNHCR report] with spreading false and misleading financial information for writing that the South Korean government had ordered local banks not to buy US dollars in an effort to stabilize currency. The judge concluded [Korea Times report] that Park did not violate the country's telecommunications law, and that he could not have been aware that the information he was posting was misleading. The judge also said that even if Park knew the information to be false that there was no intent that he meant any harm. The prosecutors' office indicated that they will appeal because they believed that the court failed to apply the law properly.

While print journalists have long faced imprisonment [JURIST news archive] in some countries for their work, the advent of blogging has resulted in a new group subject to sanctions for controversial reporting. In January, Chinese blogger Chen Qitang was sentenced to 30 months in prison [JURIST report] for making disparaging remarks about the government. In September, the Singapore Supreme Court sentenced US blogger Gopalan Nair [JURIST report] to three months in jail for insulting a judge. In February 2007, Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil was sentenced to four years in prison [JURIST report] for insulting Islam and causing sectarian strife.

 

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