SEOUL – The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office has requested Tatsuya Kato, head of the Seoul bureau of the Sankei Shimbun, to present himself on Tuesday over his article about South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the Japanese daily said Saturday.
The prosecution made the request on Friday in response to a complaint by a South Korean citizens’ group that the article defames Park, according to the Sankei.
The article, published on the Sankei’s website on Sunday, stirred controversy in South Korea over the reported seven-hour absence of Park on the day the South Korean ferry Sewol sunk in April, killing around 300 people.
Citing media reports and comments from a stock market source, the article said a rumor circulated that Park secretly met with a married man during this time.
On Friday, South Korean media organizations reported that presidential sources confirmed Park was within the premises of the presidential office during the seven hours in question.