Dae-sung, who blogs under the name Minerva, was acquitted of charges in South Korea
on April 20, 2009, under a rarely
used law of "spreading false information with the intent of harming the public
interest." The Seoul
court that heard his case ruled that Park wrote without malicious intent, even
if his articles were misleading his articles.
Park, who said he wrote his columns after reading
economic textbooks and surfing the Internet, wrote on Daum.net, a popular South Korean Web
portal. Prosecutors had asked for an 18-month sentence for posting misleading
information that damaged South
Korea's reputation. On December 29, 2008,
Park posted a story saying the government had tried to dissuade local bankers
from buying U.S. dollars, a change in official policy. The government denied the story and brought
the charges against Park. He pleaded not guilty.
Despite his anonymity, Park was widely read in South
Korea after many of his financial predictions, mostly
negative, turned out to be accurate; perhaps his most famous was the correct
prediction that the U.S.
investment bank Lehman Brothers would fail.