7 January 1998


American journalist released, charges still pending

Incident details

Richard Choi



(CPJ/IFEX) - The Committee to Protect Journalists reports the release of
American journalist Richard Choi by the South Korean government on his own
recognizance. A Seoul court released Choi, who had been in jail since 19
December 1997, early Thursday morning, Korea time. He must still stand trial
on charges arising from a complaint of criminal defamation brought against
him by the Korea Times/Hankook Ilbo newspaper group. The complaint stems
from a report he
filed from Korea to his employer, Radio Korea of Los Angeles, for broadcast
exclusively in the United States. The 40-second broadcast, aired 15
December, discussed the rumored financial difficulties at the Korea
Times/Hankook lbo and a possible merger between the newspaper group, one of
the largest in South Korea, and the Hyundai Corporation.

**Updates IFEX alert of 30 December 1997**

Choi, an American citizen, is being prosecuted under a section of the Korean
criminal code which allows private companies to file a criminal complaint
against persons accused of defaming their reputation. He faces up to five
years in jail if convicted.


Committee to Protect Journalists
330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10001
info (@) cpj.org
Fax:+1 212 465 9568
South Korea
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