Mon, Sep 02, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Police probe PTT post alleging Han suicide

ALIVE AND KICKING:The Kaohsiung mayor said that the most vibrant industry is the ‘smear Han industry,’ while Premier Su condemned the bulletin board message

By Huang Liang-chieh, Wang Jung-hsiang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu talks to reporters at an event at a Changhua County temple yesterday.

Photo: Chen Kuan-pei, Taipei Times

The Kaohsiung Police Department and the Criminal Investigation Bureau are investigating a message posted on Saturday on the Professional Technology Temple (PTT) bulletin board claiming that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) had committed suicide by jumping from a building.

User “swing1221” wrote on PTT’s Gossiping board: “KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] presidential candidate committed suicide at 9:45 this morning” and falsely quoted Han’s wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), as saying that Han had been “under too much stress” from incessant online attacks by critics.

The police said its High Technology Crime Investigation Unit was not waiting for Han to press charges and had already begun investigating the post.

The account’s IP address was traced to the US and Canada, so it would seek assistance from the Gossiping board’s moderator, the department said.

The Criminal Investigation Bureau’s 8th Investigation Corps also opened in investigation.

Three similar posts were made from the same account, possibly through a virtual private network connection, sources said, adding that about 20 posts have been made by the account in the nearly five years it has been active.

Han yesterday said that this year’s “most vibrant industry” is the “smear Han industry.”

Smear campaigns against him need to come to an end, and those involved should not be trying to incite public anger, he said.

Han’s campaign office on Saturday said it has asked a lawyer to prepare to file a lawsuit, while KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) called the fake post “vicious.”

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday condemned what he called a “personal offense” against Han, adding: “Anything that is fake is wrong.”

However, DPP Kaohsiung City Councilor Kao Min-lin (高閔琳) urged Han and his campaign headquarters to sue to end the “rumors” about his alleged suicide, otherwise the public might think they faked the posts themselves.

A netizen said different accounts sharing the same IP address have previously criticized supporters of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang and Liu Hsiao-hsin

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