Image: Newstapa journalists stand off against prosecutors attempting to raid the outlet's newsroom. Credit: Newstapa.
Prosecutors raided JTBC and Newstapa 뉴스타파 in the wake of their reports on prosecutors’ misuse of operating funds. On September 14, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office 서울중앙지방검찰청 raided the newsrooms of JTBC and Newstapa, claiming the cable news channel and the investigative journalism site defamed President Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열 대통령 by airing fake news days before the 2022 presidential election, which Yoon won narrowly. Prosecutors also raided the homes of two Newstapa journalists.
The raid came the same day that Newstapa released a special report on the budget of the Public Prosecutors’ Office 검찰청. After successfully suing to compel the PPO to disclose the use of its budget, Newstapa reported that the PPO used its Special Activities Fund 특별활동비, a budget item earmarked for confidential investigations, for office parties, photo shoots and other personal uses. The International Federation of Journalists denounced the raids, calling them “intimidation and legal harassment”.