Japanese journalist acquitted of defaming South Korean president

Seoul, Dec 17 (IANS) A South Korean court on Thursday acquitted a Japanese journalist of a criminal charge of defaming President Park Geun-hye.

The Seoul Central District Court acquitted Tatsuya Kato, former Seoul bureau chief of Japan’s Sankei Shimbun daily, Xinhua news agency reported.

Kato was indicted in October 2014 for an article he wrote about Park’s whereabouts on the day of the Sewol ferry tragedy, one of the country’s worst maritime disasters that killed more than 300 passengers, mostly teenagers on a school trip.

The ruling said that the defendant’s article, though inappropriate, is included in the area of protecting freedom of press in a democratic society.

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