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November 27, 2009

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E-gossiper must pay for cyber slander

A LOCAL woman must apologize to three members of the owners' committee in her community and pay them 1,000 yuan (US$146) each after accusing them in an Internet posting of corruption, Minhang District People's Court ruled yesterday.

The woman, surnamed Chen, claimed on an Internet bulletin board that the committee members used the property owners' repair fund to pay for travel expenses.

She denied posting the note, but the court found against her, saying she lacked evidence to prove her innocence.

The controversy began on April 4, when someone using the Net name "Old Father" put up a note on an Internet BBS saying the director of the community owners' committee led a group to Hong Kong and Macau in March.

The travel costs for the alleged junket came from the property repair fund, the note said.

"Such corrupt people should be killed," it said.

The members cited in the note reported the matter to police. Officers tracked the note to a computer in Chen's residence.

The three members, who denied the allegation, sued for libel.

Chen, who lives alone, argued that she didn't send the note. She said that perhaps some neighborhood visitors had used her computer.


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