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Reporter claims death threat over murder reportBy Korea Herald
Published : May 14, 2013 - 19:51
Joo Jin-woo, a reporter of the monthly news magazine Sisa IN, is accused of spreading false and defamatory information in his article that the president’s younger brother, Park Ji-man, was involved in the killing of his relative.
“The wife of the victim has asked me not to further follow the case as my life could be in danger,” Joo told reporters before entering the Seoul Central District Court to attend a court hearing.
The hearing was to decide whether an arrest warrant should be issued for him.
Joo, however, did not disclose further details on who had threatened him.
According to prosecutors, Joo reported the unconfirmed suspicion ahead of December’s presidential race with an aim to influence the election.
Park eventually won the election by a narrow margin and was inaugurated in February.
In the article, Joo revisited a 2011 case in which the body of a nephew of the first family of Park was found on a hiking trail near Mount Bukhan in northern Seoul. Just three kilometers from the scene, another nephew of the Park family was found hanging from a tree.
Wrapping up their investigation into the two cases, police had concluded that one nephew murdered the other before committing suicide by hanging himself due to financial disputes.
In his reports, Joo cited a legal dispute between Park Ji-man and his brother-in-law, and argued that Park was involved in the crime.
The younger brother later lodged a legal complaint against Joo, setting off the investigation.
Joo, who skyrocketed to national fame as a co-host of the popular online political satire “Naneun Ggomsuda,” roughly translated in English as “I am a Petty-minded Creep,” also allegedly made defamatory remarks against the president’s late father, former President Park Chung-hee.
He is accused of posthumously defaming the former president by publicly saying that he had left a large sum of wealth worth 10 trillion won ($9.03 billion) to his offspring.
Started in 2011, the show regularly stirred up allegations of wrongdoing by notable politicians, business and religious leaders.
The show was suspended after December’s presidential election.
Joo, who had left the country right after the election, returned home in March and has since been questioned by the prosecution.
The issuing of an arrest warrant will be decided later in the day, court officials said. (Yonhap News)
Articles by Korea Herald
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