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Seoul mayor takes legal action against men behind smear attacks

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Published : 2014-03-19 19:57
Updated : 2014-03-19 19:57

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon took legal action against two men for allegedly spreading false information about his son’s military service record, officials said Wednesday.

Park filed the complaints with the Seoul City Election Commission on Tuesday.

A man surnamed Lee is accused of sending more than 20,000 letters and emails that detailed claims that Park’s son deliberately avoided military service using fabricated medical records. The recipients included a large number of public officials, including President Park Geun-hye. The other unidentified man is suspected of sending a massive number of mobile text messages slandering Mayor Park over the same issue.

“The mayor’s son has already been acquitted over his military service allegations. The act of continuously spreading falsehoods despite the acquittal makes clear that they have the malicious intent of affecting the upcoming mayoral election,” Seoul Vice-Mayor Ki Dong-min said.

Park’s son faced a prosecutors’ probe in 2012 over allegations that he had altered his medical records to avoid mandatory military service. He was officially acquitted last year.

The Seoul mayor was considering all legal actions, including libel and compensation lawsuits regarding any circulation of false rumors, Ki added. Park is seeking to serve a second term in the June election.

Under Korea’s election law, those who spread false information about candidates can face prison terms of up to seven years or fines of 30 million won ($28,000), city officials said.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)

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