Monday, April 13, 2009

Jang's former manager arrested for defamation

Yoo Jang-ho, the head of the late actress Jang Ja-yeon's agency at the time of her suicide, was arrested without detention yesterday on a charge of defaming the head of Jang's former agency.

Lee Myeong-gyun, a senior police officer in charge of the investigation at the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency, said during a press briefing that the police booked Yoo on a charge of defaming Kim Sung-hoon by leaking the existence of a document, which was written by Jang, to the media.

On behalf of Kim, his sister and lawyer filed a defamation suit against Yoo on March 25. "We are assuming that Yoo let the media know of the document's existence in order to denounce Kim with the excuse of helping Jang", said Lee.

The officer also said that it was difficult for the police to press charges of defamation against Jang.

The bereaved family filed a defamation lawsuit against Yoo on March 17. Jang's older brother sued three people for defaming the late actress. Two others were reporters from the Korean Broadcasting System.

The police said they would decide whether to seek a detention warrant or not against Yoo as soon as Kim is extradited from Japan. "We believe that the nature of Kim's crime is more serious than Yoo's. It is not right to press criminal charges against Yoo first as Kim has not been prosecuted", Lee said.

Kim, who allegedly forced Jang to serve drinks and sex to high-profile figures, has not returned to Korea since he fled to Japan last December.

Lee added that the police are still questioning suspected figures who exploited Jang in room salons in the Gangnam area, southern Seoul. The police did not identify who they were.


By: Heo Jin, Lee Min-yon

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