The prosecution sought a 3-year prison sentence for Yang Hyun-suk, YG Entertainment’s representative producer, in his appeal trial on charges of retaliation threats and related offenses
On Sep 27th, Criminal Division 6-3 of the Seoul High Court held the 5th trial for the appeal case against Yang Hyun-suk and former YG manager Kim, who were charged with violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes (retaliation threats, etc.).
During their final statement, the prosecution argued, “Yang Hyun-suk summoned former iKON member B.I’s drug crime informant and obstructed the informant from making a report. This initial obstruction allowed B.I to gain popularity and substantial profits in his entertainment career. In the end, these gains went back to Yang Hyun-suk. Even though the defendants committed significant offenses, the first trial acquitted them. There’s a concern that unjust investigations are being justified.” The prosecution emphasized “The first trial’s decision was a factual misunderstanding” and stated, “Yang Hyun-suk using his social position to manipulate the informant’s statement is considered an exercise of power. He must be found guilty. Given that there’s no remorse and no agreement with the victim, strict enforcement of the law is necessary.“
Additionally, the prosecution sought a 3-year prison sentence for Yang Hyun-suk and a 2-year sentence for former YG manager Kim.
Yang Hyun-suk was charged in connection with a 2016 incident where B.I, a member of YG’s boy group iKON at that time, was alleged to have purchased and used drugs. Yang Hyun-suk was accused of persuading and threatening informant Han Seo-hee to obstruct the investigation. While Yang Hyun-suk consistently denied making any threats or demands, the prosecution argued that his statements induced fear. In the first trial, the court acquitted Yang Hyun-suk, citing a lack of clear evidence that the victim’s freedom of will was suppressed due to fear caused by the defendant’s actions.
In the appeal trial, the prosecution challenged this decision, asserting that the defendants’ actions were worthy of criticism, given their role in covering up B.I’s drug-related crimes.
In a surprising turn during the 4th trial, witness Han Seo-hee expressed a desire for the defendant not to be punished, contrary to her earlier demand for Yang Hyun-suk’s punishment during the first trial. Han Seo-hee explained her change of stance by expressing exhaustion and a desire to end the prolonged legal battle.