“Produce 101 Season 2” To Be Reinvestigated For Voting Manipulation Allegations
Further investigation will take place for “Produce 101 Season 2.”
The prosecution has decided that the investigation surrounding the voting manipulation in “Produce 101 Season 2” was insufficient, and they will reinvestigate the situation. The order for reinvestigation included “omission in determining fraud” (not expressing a decision on a situation that could have an important influence on a verdict). In addition to the possibility of indicting producing director (PD) Ahn Joon Young and other production team members, further investigation may take place on the vote counting process for season two.
Previously, a committee was formed to take legal action against the production team of “Produce 101.” The committee filed an appeal when certain charges were recommended for non-indictment. On April 21, the committee’s legal representative confirmed, “The prosecution stated that the investigation for the ranking manipulation of ‘Produce 101 Season 2,’ which created the group Wanna One, was insufficient, and they have decided to reinvestigate. Furthermore, the trial has been pushed back from April 22 to 27.”
In the prosecution’s response to the committee’s appeal, the prosecution stated that the investigation originally indicted chief producer (CP) Kim Yong Bum for obstructing business since he admitted to manipulating the votes from the final episode of “Produce 101 Season 2.” However, PD Ahn Joon Young was recommended for non-indictment for obstructing business as there was insufficient evidence to determine if he participated in the manipulation. They added that there was no decision regarding the accusations of fraud made by the committee.
The prosecution further stated that defendant Ahn Joon Young was indicted for both obstructing business and fraud regarding the manipulation of paid votes in “Produce 48” and “Produce X 101.” However, there was still a need to determine if Ahn Joon Young’s voting manipulation in “Produce 101 Season 2” also qualified as fraud as seasons three and four did.
The committee’s legal representative stated, “Looking at the prosecution’s notice, it was determined that manipulation of rankings occurred in season two, but it was not specified who committed the fraud. In future reinvestigations, there is a possibility that PD Ahn Joon Young could gain another charge for fraud or that another production team member from season two could be indicted.”
The committee stated, “Even though it was already revealed through the investigation that the seasons were manipulated, it is unfortunate that the investigation was inadequate for season two, which earned billions of won (millions of dollars) in profit.” The committee also expressed their hopes for the prosecution to conduct a thorough investigation in the future.
The fourth trial for PD Ahn Joon Young and CP Kim Yong Bum will take place on April 27.