A blogger was acquitted by a Seoul court on charges of spreading malicious rumours about the South Korean economy that cost the government
billions of dollars. Park Dae-sung was released after the court ruled he did not violate telecommunications laws with his popular weblogs, which
castigated policymakers and forecast dire scenarios that many investors took to heart.
The case was seen as a test balloon for the year-old Lee Myung-bak administration, which has tried to curtail media critics. Many expected Park
would do prison time.
Through his online alias Minerva, Park criticized the government for what he called its blunders in responding to the global financial crisis. In
December, he wrote that officials had ordered financial institutions to stop buying dollars as the government tried to curb the fall of the won, South
Korea's currency.The posting devastated the foreign exchange market, forcing the nation's financial authority to spend US $2 billion to bolster
the won as the demand for dollars surged wildly.
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