Yang Hyun Suk (53), the chief producer of YG Entertainment (hereinafter referred to as YG), has appealed his innocence on charges of retaliation and threats, just like in the first trial.
In the meantime, the prosecution has demanded he be sentenced to three years in prison, just like in the first trial.
The Seoul High Court’s 6th Criminal Division held the 5th appeal trial for Yang Hyun Suk, who was indicted on charges of violating the Act on Special Cases concerning the Punishment, etc. of Specific Crimes (retaliation and threats).
Yang Hyun Suk is accused of persuading and threatening whistleblower A to cover up the drug investigation of B.I who was a member of the YG-affiliated group iKON at the time. B.I, who was indicted on charges of violating the Act on the Management of Narcotics, was sentenced to three years in prison with a four-year probation last September.
On this day, the prosecution demanded Yang Hyun Suk be sentenced to three years in prison, just like in the first trial. The prosecution cited the following reasons: ▲ Yang Hyun Suk called the whistleblower who exposed the drug crime of B.I, the leader of iKON, who was under the YG Entertainment label, to cover up the crime. ▲ A significant portion of the profits gained from his entertainment activities went to Yang Hyun Suk, who is the largest shareholder. ▲ Yang Hyun Suk called whistleblower A to the company building and demanded a retraction, which constitutes an exercise of power. ▲ He showed no remorse and failed to reach a settlement with the victim, among other reasons.
On the other hand, Yang Hyun Suk’s defense attorney raised doubts about A’s testimony in the final argument, stating, “A has undergone several investigations related to drug-related issues, and A’s testimony varies depending on the opponent’s testimony or her own feelings. She has been using drugs since his 20s and even purchased them herself.”
Afterward, Yang Hyun Suk read a two-page statement prepared in advance on A4 paper during his final statement. Yang Hyun Suk sighed and said, “I never imagined that a short meeting with Ms. A would lead to four years of investigation and bring me to this point.” He continued, “After the activities of Seo Taiji and Boys, I established YG in 1997 and dedicated myself to discovering numerous artists and creating stars. I may not have lived without making a single mistake, but I have lived carefully to be a role model for society and my juniors.” He quietly expressed his hope for the truth to be revealed quickly amidst the rampant speculation over the past four years.
He further stated, “Through this incident, I have reflected on my sense of responsibility and duty. I will be meticulous to ensure that such a situation does not arise again in the future. Please allow me to return to my original position, nurture future leaders who will lead K-pop, and create excellent content.”
However, during the 4th hearing held on the 25th of last month, Ms. A changed her stance, shedding tears and saying, “I hope Yang Hyun Suk does not receive punishment,” and “I want to end this fight. If there had been a sincere apology from Yang Hyun Suk, I would not have come to trial.”
The court’s verdict in Yang Hyun Suk’s case is scheduled to be announced on November 8th.