Ahead of last year’s presidential election, the prosecution conducted a surprise search and seizure of Newstapa and JTBC , which reported on suspicions that candidate Yoon Seok-yeol had tampered with the investigation during his time as a prosecutor.

While investigating the Busan Savings Bank case in 2011, we reported on suspicions that it had supported a Daejang-dong loan broker, and it is difficult to find an unprecedented case in which two media outlets were searched and seized at the same time over reports.

The prosecution applied defamation charges in the스포츠토토 search and seizure warrant and specified “the victim, Yoon Seok-yeol.”

This is reporter Jeong Sang-bin’s report.

◀ Report ▶

In front of Newstapa’s headquarters in Jung-gu, Seoul.

The production crew is confronting the prosecution investigation team, holding up phrases such as ‘Protect Freedom of the Press’.

“We condemn the Yoon Seok-yeol government for infringing on press freedom. <We condemn, we condemn.>”

After a scuffle that lasted for over two hours, the prosecution confiscated the positions of the reporters who reported at the time and the materials related to the report stored on the Newstapa server. Investigators also visited the JTBC headquarters

in Sangam-dong and the homes of two reporters, including one who transferred from JTBC to Newstapa. JTBC in February of last year and Newstapa in March of last year reported suspicions that the investigative team, including prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol, had covered up the Daejeon-dong loan arrangement investigation during the Busan Savings Bank investigation in 2011.

The prosecution believed that these reports were made maliciously and searched and seized media outlets and reporters.

In the warrant, a charge of ‘defamation’ was applied under the Information and Communications Network Act, and it was written that the reporter “defamed the reputation of the victim, Seok-yeol Yoon, by publicly revealing false facts for the purpose of slandering him.”

The investigation into corruption allegations that former advisor Shin Shin-rim received 160 million won from Kim Man-bae in return for reporting appears to be expanding to target media companies on charges of defamation of the president.

A prosecution official said, “Considering freedom of the press, we conducted a search and seizure in at least part of the case,” and added, “This was a search and seizure to reveal the details of the report, the compensation relationship, and the forces behind it.”

When asked whether the investigation would be expanded to include media outlets that cited the Newstapa report at the time, a prosecution official responded, “I think we will have to confirm all the suspicions raised. Please watch the status of the investigation.”

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