LDP Lawmaker Ordered to Pay Damages for Liking Defamatory Tweets

Society

Tokyo, Oct. 20 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo High Court on Thursday ordered Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Mio Sugita to pay 550,000 yen in compensation for liking defamatory tweets against a freelance journalist.

The high court overturned Tokyo District Court's dismissal of the lawsuit filed by the journalist, Shiori Ito, who demanded 2.2 million yen in compensation.

Sugita, who has about 110,000 followers on Twitter, liked 25 defamatory tweets including those accusing Ito, 33, of doing a publicity stunt or lying, over a lawsuit in which the high court has backed Ito's claim that she was sexually assaulted by a former Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc. journalist.

The district court had ruled that Sugita's act cannot be deemed as illegal as it was an "abstract and ambiguous act of expression."

At the high court, however, Presiding Judge Hiroshi Ishii said Sugita liked the tweets "with the intention of hurting (Ito's) self-esteem illegally."

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Jiji Press