12 are indicted in Tablo case

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12 are indicted in Tablo case

Prosecutors in Seoul indicted 12 Internet users yesterday on charges of defaming hip-hop singer Tablo, who filed charges against them and several others for spreading rumors about his academic credentials. The indicted Internet users, whose ages range from 23 to 51, have not been detained.

Authorities are still tracking down six Internet users who apparently reside abroad, including “Whatbecomes,” the founder of the Internet community TaJinYo, which led Internet users in the smear campaign against the singer. Prosecutors have filed for the extradition of “Whatbecomes,” a 57-year-old ethnic Korean surnamed Kim with U.S. citizenship in Chicago.

Two other Internet users sued by Tablo were found to be minors, and they will be subject to special observation for a certain period of time because their indictments were suspended, prosecutors said.

“It was a crime that destroyed the privacy of Tablo and his family,” said a prosecutor. “[This is why] there is a need for severe punishment.”

The singer had been excoriated since late 2009 by netizens doubting his academic record, but last June the Korea JoongAng Daily published his diploma and transcripts from Stanford University, proving he did graduate from the university.

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

Related Korean Article [연합]
검찰, 허위사실 유포 '타진요' 회원 12명 기소
대부분이 회사원ㆍ자영업자…의사 등 전문직도

서울중앙지검 형사5부(이명순 부장검사)는 13일 가수 타블로(30.본명 이선웅)가 학력을 위조했다는 허위사실을 유포한 혐의(명예훼손)로 송모(30)씨 등 12명을 불구속 기소했다.

또 인터넷 카페 '타블로에게 진실을 요구합니다(타진요)' 전 운영자인 일명 '왓비컴즈' 김모(57)씨 등 외국에 거주하거나 신원이 확인되지 않은 6명을 수배하고 박모(17)군 등 미성년자 2명은 일정기간 보호관찰을 조건으로 기소유예했다.

검찰에 따르면 이들은 지난해 5월 김씨가 타인 명의로 개설한 '타진요' 카페에서 미국 명문 스탠퍼드대를 졸업했다는 타블로의 주장은 거짓이라며 학력위조 의혹을 집중적으로 제기한 혐의를 받고 있다.

그러나 검찰은 타블로 성적증명서의 문서감정과 그와 함께 재학한 학우의 참고인 조사, 출입국 조회 등을 통해 타블로가 스탠퍼드대 학ㆍ석사 학위를 정상적으로 취득한 사실을 확인했다. …

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