Park Dae-sung

Park Dae-sung

Location: Seoul, South Korea
37° 33' 59.526" N, 126° 58' 40.6884" E
Status: Released
Arrested between 07 Jan 2009 and 20 Apr 2009

From Wikipedia: Minerva (Korean: 미네르바) is the internet username of a "netizen" who wrote about the Korean economy and the economic policies of the Korean government. Minerva's writing evoked the ire of the Korean government, when an entry precipitated a run on the Korean won. Prosecutors have arrested a man they claim to be Minerva, Park Dae-sung, and charged him with the crime of electronically spreading false rumors that damage the public good. The true identity of Minerva, however, remains to be established. The arrest has also drawn international scrutiny. Minerva posted articles in Daum Agora, one of the largest internet debate bulletin boards in South Korea, from March 2008 to January 2009.Minerva has successfully predicted major events in the Korean economy and was quick to provide solutions for both the government and households. Despite his warnings, the Korean government's economic policies continued to steer the nation's economy the wrong way, with Minerva becoming one of the most influential critics of the government's policies. It was under this background that Minerva became known as “the Internet Economic President.” Among the famous predictions Minerva has made were: the collapse of Lehman Brothers and its potential consequences, and the sharp decline of South Korean currency value against the U.S. dollar at specified time points.

On January 7, 2009, prosecutors arrested a suspect believed to be Minerva for "spreading false rumors on the Internet". The prosecutors announced the anonymous Internet economist was a 30-year-old unemployed man.An article was posted by Minerva on December 29, 2008, in the economy section of Daum Agora bulletin boards. The article claimed that the Korean government issued an urgent directive to major financial companies and explicitly mentioned a ban on purchase of U.S. dollars. The Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance quickly made a statement denying any such move from the government. The Agora post was initially screened from viewing by Daum and was later removed by the author. Minerva responded with an apology for the article.

It was that article that prosecutors are said to be motivated to arrest Minerva. They have regarded it as a false rumor.

On April 20, 2009 Park Dae-sung was acquitted and released from jail. The reasoning of the court was that if any of the statements he made were false, he did not know they were false.

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