Former National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) yesterday won a defamation lawsuit against TV anchorwoman Chen Ya-lin (陳雅琳), but the Taiwan High Court only ordered Chen to pay King the requested NT$1 compensation and said she did not have to publish an apology in newspapers.
King vowed to appeal.
Chen won the first trial. The Taipei Shilin District Court on May 27 last year ruled that she had not defamed King, a longtime aide to former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), during an evening news broadcast on Dec. 12, 2014, when she was the lead anchor on SET News television.
According to King’s lawyers, during the broadcast Chen said that King had instructed Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Deputy Secretary-General Lin Te-jui (林德瑞) to call on then-KMT legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) and tell him to instruct office staff not to criticize the scandal-hit Ting Hsin Group.
King sued Chen, claiming she had insinuated he was in a close relationship with the Ting Hsin Group, thereby damaging his reputation.
He asked for NT$1 in compensation and for her to publish and apology in the nation’s four major newspapers.
However, the Taipei Shilin District Court ruled that Chen had done her job by verifying the story with her sources, and the broadcast was protected under freedom of speech.
Chen, who is now an anchorwoman on the Next TV network, yesterday issued a statement through her lawyer, saying: “We regret this [latest] court ruling, which judged that certain parts of the news broadcast in question had damaged King’s reputation, but we shall respect the decision.”
She also cited the lower court ruling, “where the judges affirmed she had done her job of verifying with sources, had based her remarks on contents of a news briefing by Alex Tsai, and had made a balanced report.”
King said he would appeal yesterday’s ruling “because the important thing is to restore my good reputation by having an apology issued through statements in newspapers.”
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