The Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a university lecturer charged with defacing G20 Seoul Summit promotion posters with images of rats. It finalized the 2 million won fine.
The 41-year-old lecturer, surnamed Park, was indicted for damaging public property by spraying the picture of a rat on 22 posters near a Lotte Department Store and other areas in central Seoul on Oct. 31, 2010, just 10 days before the opening of the summit.
Liberals and many netizens have often used the rat image to mock President Lee Myung-bak, and prosecutors argued the accused was tarnishing the nation at a significant time when it was about to host the G20 event.
“Freedom of expression is a basic right protected by the Constitution, but drawing rats on public posters is damaging public property,” the judge said in the ruling.
A 29-year-old woman, surnamed Choi, who assisted Park in the vandalism, also received a 1 million won fine on the same charge.