Court Of Appeal Upholds Suspended Sentence For Wheesung Regarding Propofol Use

The appellate court has upheld Wheesung’s original suspended sentence on charges of habitual propofol use.

On October 13, Daegu District Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the prosecution’s appeal to the court’s original ruling on Wheesung’s charges of violating the Act on the Control of Narcotics, etc. The sentence Wheesung received in the original trial—a year in prison suspended for two years, 40 hours of community service, and 40 hours of a drug treatment course—remains unchanged. This means that Wheesung will be spending two years in probation, but he will have to serve a one-year prison sentence if he violates the condition of the suspension during the probation.

At the trial of appeal, the prosecution asserted that the original sentence was too light and proposed a punishment of three years in prison and an additional collection amount of 60.5 million won (approximately $50,725). They stated to the court, “It was wrong of him to commit such a crime when he has a profession that can greatly influence the general public.”

However, the appellate court dismissed the prosecution’s proposal and explained, “Due to the nature of his job, the defendant felt grave burden and pressure about his every action being a potential target of the public’s criticism. We have taken into consideration the fact that he appears to have grown addicted to propofol during the process of overcoming his chronic insomnia and depression, that he is belatedly reflecting and repenting on his mistake, and that he is diligently receiving treatment and having a low possibility of a relapse.”

In the previous hearing that had taken place on September 8, Wheesung said in his final statement, “I am very ashamed of myself and feel regretful. After this incident, I have mustered up great willpower for the sake of my treatment of various psychological disorders including insomnia, panic disorder, and depression, which I have suffered from my entire life. As a result of receiving treatment for a year and a few months, I have gotten much better.”

Wheesung was brought to trial on charges of purchasing 670 mililiters (approximately 23 ounces) of propofol for 10 million won (approximately $8,380) and using it in 2019. He was also suspected of purchasing 3910 additional mililiters (approximately 132 ounces) of propofol for 60.5 million won (approximately $50,710) over 12 separate occasions that same year.

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