December 18, 2008 10:00
The Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday ruled the daily Munhwa Ilbo must pay W150 million (US$1=W1,321) to the disgraced curator Shin Jeong-ah, who triggered a nationwide scandal, for publishing nude pictures of her and implying that she had used sex to influence powerful figures in the last government. The court ordered the newspaper to publish a correction.
The court said the pictures were genuine, but their publication implied that Shin sought to use sex to influence senior figures in political and government circles, and there was no evidence for that. "The pictures published in the paper are of an extremely personal nature, and there was no need to publish nude pictures" in raising the suspicions, the court said. It added it was clear the newspaper's primary aim was to boost circulation.
The Munhwa published the pictures on Sept. 13, 2007. Shin sued claiming that the pictures were forged and demanded W1 billion in compensation.
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