Son Chung Mu

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Son, the publisher of Inside the World magazine, was arrested on June 1. Prosecutors charged Son with criminal defamation and accepting a bribe from former Agency for National Security Planning (NSP) chief Kwon Young Hae to slander then-presidential candidate Kim Dae Jung during the 1997 campaign. Son had also been charged with related “crimes against reputation” in February by the public prosecutor’s office but was not arrested at the time. The charges were brought by the National Congress for New Politics (NCNP), President Kim Dae Jung’s political party, in the aftermath of his victory in the December 1997 elections. The party took exception to articles published in Son’s magazine in 1997 as well as a book he wrote during the 1997 election campaign, Kim Dae Jung: X-File, all of which were highly critical of Kim. On September 23, Son was found guilty of criminal libel and sentenced to two years in prison. The charge that he accepted a bribe to slander Kim and thereby thwart his election was dropped.