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“Raid Attempt on Dong-A Ilbo Is Unreasonable”

Posted July. 31, 2007 03:02,   


Prosecutors attempted to raid Dong-A Ilbo (Dong-A Daily) over an article about Rev. Choi Tae-min released by ShinDongA (a monthly magazine published by Dong-A Ilbo) on July 30. However, the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) criticized the prosecutor’s inquiry, saying, “It`s absurd and a serious violation of the freedom of speech.”

Kim Hyong-o, the floor leader of GNP, raised his voice against the prosecutors, saying, “They tried to raid the company’s central server, which is a very serious violation against the freedom of speech and the protection of sources. Targeting a certain newspaper is an abuse of authority and undermines the constitution which guarantees the freedom of speech.”

Floor leader Kim added, “My point is that the freedom of speech must be protected. The investigation’s priority should be placed on the suspicion that the National Intelligence Service allegedly leaked internal documents to the press for attacking a specific presidential candidate. Prosecutors must raid the NIS first.”

Ahn Sang-soo, chief of the GNP’s special committee to tackle possible smear campaigning from the government, said, “The GNP has continuously asked prosecutors to raid the NIS as soon as possible in order to secure the NIS’ internal documents concerning Lee Myung-bak, Park Geun-hye, and Choi Tae-min as evidence. But prosecutors tried to raid Dong-A Ilbo twice without investigating the NIS. That’s absurd.”

Na Gyeong-won, a GNP spokesperson, said in a press briefing, “It would be annoying if prosecutors become the enemy of democracy who suffocates the freedom of speech. What prosecutors’ have to do is protect the freedom of speech. But the prosecutors attempted to check all the emails of the Dong-A Ilbo’s reporters. That is like putting shackles on the reporters and suppressing the media’s free expression. We call it, ‘burning down the barn to get rid of the mice.’”