Shin Seong-sik (58), a researcher at the Justice Research and Training Institute (prosecutor), and a KBS reporter were indicted without detention on charges of fabricating a conversation between Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon and former Channel A reporter Lee Dong-jae and relaying it to a KBS reporter.
According to the prosecution, Prosecutor Shin is accused of giving KBS reporters false information about the “attempted coercion case” 안전놀이터 involving Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon (then chief prosecutor) and former Channel A reporter Lee Dong-jae in July 2020, when he was a high-ranking official at the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office .
KBS reporter A is accused of defaming Minister Han by reporting categorically without verifying the facts even though there was false circumstances in the information delivered by Prosecutor Shin.
The KBS Reporters Association issued a statement on the 5th and said, “I feel responsible for unintentionally delivering inaccurate news to viewers because I was unable to filter out the wrong content in advance until the report went out.” This was done, and efforts such as cross-checking were also accompanied to confirm the facts. There was no intention, background, or collusion.”
The KBS Journalists’ Association said, “The prosecution has continued an intense investigation for more than two years, which is unusual for a defamation case, and prosecuted the reporter. This may greatly discourage the reporter’s reporting and reporting.” If the party and complainant had not been the incumbent Minister of Justice, I doubt whether they would have even prosecuted.”
Judging from the precedents that have been prosecuted so far, it seems unlikely that a KBS reporter will be convicted. This is because there is a high possibility that freedom of the press will be recognized widely due to the grounds for illegality fragmentation in light of public interest in reporting. However, it seems highly likely that the battle will continue in the political world.
The Power of the People ICT Media Promotion Special Committee issued a statement that day and said, “The prosecution and public broadcasting colluded to spread false information and pursue political goals, and the crime of destroying public trust in the prosecution and the media is very bad. We need to recognize that this is the most humiliating incident since the foundation and come up with reasonable measures that meet the public eye level.”