Court Acquits Journalist Accused of Defaming South Korean President

A Seoul court found a Japanese reporter not guilty on Thursday of defaming President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, whose government has been accused of using legal channels to try to silence news reports unfavorable to her administration.


Tatsuya Kato, a former Seoul bureau chief of Japan’s right-wing Sankei Shimbun newspaper, was on trial on the criminal charge of defaming Ms. Park with an online article published in August 2014 in which he cited what he called financial industry rumors that Ms. Park may have been having a romantic encounter with a former aide as a ferry with hundreds of passengers was sinking off southwestern South Korea.

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