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South Korean Blogger Acquitted

•  Headline Legal News     updated  2009/04/20 11:18


A South Korean court on Monday acquitted a blogger accused of causingthe country huge financial losses by spreading misleading informationon the economy.

Prosecutors had sought an 18-month prison term for Park Dae-Sung, 30 --better known by his Internet alias "Minerva" -- while some mediafreedom groups criticised the decision to charge him.

Parkwas arrested in early January and charged with spreading online rumoursthat the government in late December ordered local banks not to buydollars as part of efforts to stabilise the won.

Prosecutorsclaimed the December posting led to dollar hoarding, forcing thegovernment hurriedly to inject two billion dollars to stabilise thecurrency market.

"Considering all the circumstances, it is hardto conclude that Park was aware the information was misleading when hewrote the postings," said Judge Yoo Young-Hyun of Seoul CentralDistrict Court.

The judge said that even if Park had realised theinformation was false, it cannot be concluded he intended to damage thepublic interest, considering the circumstances at the time or thespecial characteristics of the foreign exchange market.

Parkwrote more than 200 economic commentaries in recent months and gained amajor following after correctly predicting the collapse of USinvestment bank Lehman Brothers last September.




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