World

Media: SKorea prosecutors indict Japanese reporter in case that raises media freedom questions

  • In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2014, former Sankei Shimbun Chief of Bureau Tatsuya Kato arrives at Seoul District Court in Seoul, South Korea. South Korean and Japanese media say Kato has been indicted on charges he defamed South Korea's president in an online story. The allegations against the Japanese newspaper's reporter have raised questions about South Korean press freedom. The indictment by Seoul prosecutors on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 which was confirmed by the newspaper, comes amid rising animosity between the countries. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY

    In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2014, former Sankei Shimbun Chief of Bureau Tatsuya Kato arrives at Seoul District Court in Seoul, South Korea. South Korean and Japanese media say Kato has been indicted on charges he defamed South Korea's president in an online story. The allegations against the Japanese newspaper's reporter have raised questions about South Korean press freedom. The indictment by Seoul prosecutors on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 which was confirmed by the newspaper, comes amid rising animosity between the countries. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken August 2014, then-Sankei Shimbun Chief of Bureau Tatsuya Kato, surrounded by reporters arrives at Seoul District Court in Seoul, South Korea. South Korean and Japanese media say Kato has been indicted on charges he defamed South Korea's president in an online story. The allegations against the Japanese newspaper's reporter have raised questions about South Korean press freedom. The indictment by Seoul prosecutors on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 which was confirmed by the newspaper, comes amid rising animosity between the countries. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY

    In this photo taken August 2014, then-Sankei Shimbun Chief of Bureau Tatsuya Kato, surrounded by reporters arrives at Seoul District Court in Seoul, South Korea. South Korean and Japanese media say Kato has been indicted on charges he defamed South Korea's president in an online story. The allegations against the Japanese newspaper's reporter have raised questions about South Korean press freedom. The indictment by Seoul prosecutors on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 which was confirmed by the newspaper, comes amid rising animosity between the countries. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, CREDIT MANDATORY  (The Associated Press)

South Korean and Japanese media say a Japanese newspaper's former Seoul bureau chief has been indicted on charges he defamed South Korea's president in an online story.

The allegations against the Sankei Shinbun reporter have raised questions about South Korean press freedom. The indictment by Seoul prosecutors on Wednesday, which was confirmed by the newspaper, comes amid rising animosity between the countries.

The Yonhap news agency quoted prosecutors as saying they charged Tatsuya Kato after concluding that his report was false.

The indictment is linked to an article by Kato on Aug. 3 about South Korean President Park Geun-hye's whereabouts on the day in April when a ferry sank, killing more than 300 people.

Kato's article reported rumors that she may have been with a recently divorced former aide.