Prosecutors dismiss suit over allegations of routine bribery
SOUTH KOREA–Prosecutors dismissed a civil libel suit filed against a financial correspondent for The Asian Wall Street Journal in early March. Reporter Steve Glain wrote that South Korea’s top officials routinely accept bribes.
The South Korean government decided not to respond to Glain’s article after the Journal printed a clarification acknowledging that Glain’s article could be read to imply that Korean officials will accept bribes, and said the newspaper “regrets any such inference.” However, a Korean professor filed a libel suit against Glain, complaining that the article defamed the South Korean people as a whole, according to AP.
Glain’s report followed the arrest of former President Roh Tae- woo, who is standing trial on charges for collecting illegal bribes. In his article, Glain wrote that the arrest marks the beginning of a “battle to eliminate the practice of high-ranking officials receiving bribes.” He reported that big businesses are traditionally obliged to pay each Cabinet minister “rice cake expenses” of up to 15 million won, the equivalent of $19,500.