A local court has acquitted a 73-year-old former journalist accused of following a Twitter account praising North Korean ideology, court records showed Thursday.
The Seoul Western District Court found the defendant, identified only by his surname Lee, not guilty of following the account of North Korea's main propaganda website, Uriminzokkiri, which means "only by Korean ourselves."
Prosecutors indicted Lee on charges of following the account and posting pro-Pyongyang writings on his blog in November 2009.
The court, however, said just following an account cannot be deemed as distributing pro-North Korean content as they are only shown on the follower's account.
Those who follow Lee can see the pro-North tweets if the defendant retweets or writes comments on them. The court said there is a lack of evidence to say Lee conducted either of the actions.
Still, Lee was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for two years, for writing North Korean propaganda on his blog.
South Koreans are banned from joining a pro-Pyongyang organization or having unauthorized contact with North Korea. They are also prohibited from supporting or praising the North in any way under the National Security Law. (Yonhap)