Published : 2013-10-24 19:46
Updated : 2013-10-24 19:46
Two well-known political satirists were found not guilty of election law violations and defamation charges on Thursday by a jury. The lampoonists had suggested members of President Park Geun-hye’s family were involved in two alleged contract murders as last year’s presidential elections approached.
Kim Eo-jun and Ju Jin-u, the hosts of the politically left-leaning podcast “I am a Petty-Minded Creep” ― better known as “Naneun Ggomsuda” ― were accused of spreading false rumors about Park Ji-man, the president’s brother.
A story written by Ju implicated Park Ji-man in the deaths of President Park’s nephews, Park Yong-chul and Park Yong-su.
Ji-man had allegedly contracted Yong-chul to murder Shin Dong-wook, Park Ji-man’s brother-in-law. Yong-chul then supposedly attempted to divulge this request, compelling Ji-man to ask Yong-su to kill Yong-chul. Both Yong-su and Yong-chul were found dead in September 2011.
Kim, the publisher of an online newspaper, and Ju, a journalist for a weekly magazine, broadcasted Ju’s story on their show.
Park Ji-man denied the allegations and filed lawsuits against Kim and Ju. Prosecutors indicted the two podcasters for spreading groundless rumors.
Jury members disagreed, however, claiming that Ju’s stories were based on “somewhat objective evidence.” The justices arbitrating the case sided with the jury, citing the lack of ill will in the podcasters’ actions and the “considerable amount of proof” substantiating their story.