14 indicted for defaming Tablo in Net discussions

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14 indicted for defaming Tablo in Net discussions

The investigation into the Tablo cyber-calumny case has come to an end, and police announced yesterday they indicted 14 of 18 Internet users who were sued by the hip-hop singer for defamation.

The indictees were among hundreds of thousands of Internet users who accused the singer of fabricating his school records and degree from Stanford University in the United States. The Korea JoongAng Daily published Tablo’s Stanford transcript in June.

Seoul police questioned the 14 suspects during the past month. The remaining four people sued by the singer live outside Korea and police have requested help from Interpol to arrest them.

The 14 who were indicted were aged 19 to 57, with several in their 30s. Out of the 14, three are doctors, four are office workers, two own their own businesses, two are students and the rest are unemployed. Police said only four were staff members of Internet discussion groups that led the campaign against the singer.

The largest group, “We Request the Truth from Tablo” (also known by the Korean acronym TaJinYo), had more than 190,000 registered members before it was disbanded last month. Its manager was a 57-year-old Korean surnamed Kim living in Chicago. In an exclusive interview with the JoongAng Ilbo last month, Kim said he wanted Tablo to drop the defamation suit against him, calling the singer “the winner” in the war. Kim used the online nom de plume “whatbecomes.”

“I started to get suspicious when others raised doubts [about Tablo],” said one indicted Internet poster.

By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]
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