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(LEAD) News anchor summoned over unauthorized exit poll use

All News 17:41 March 09, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with comment from Sohn in para 5)

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- A cable channel news anchor was summoned Wednesday over the newsroom's unauthorized use of exit polls from major broadcasters during the 2014 local election, prosecutors said.

Sohn Suk-hee, who heads JTBC's news reporting division, appeared before prosecutors at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul, according to prosecutors.

He is accused of citing the exit polls of three terrestrial networks -- KBS, MBC and SBS -- without permission during the June 2014 elections for provincial government heads and council members.

Prosecutors said they are investigating how he acquired the poll results and whether Sohn directed his staff members to use them.

"I did not (admit to the charges)," Sohn told reporters after being interviewed by investigators for eight hours.

JTBC denied any wrongful act was committed, pointing out that the results were already being circulated via social media and other outlets even before the voting was completed.

In August 2015, a Seoul court ordered JTBC to pay 1.2 billion won (US$1 million) to the networks that lodged a separate compensation suit in 2014.


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