Police Officer Testifies As Witness In Trial Over Yang Hyun Suk’s Charges Of Threatening Informant In Drug Case
On November 5, the 23rd Criminal Settlement Division (head judge Yoo Young Geun) of the Seoul Central District Court held its first trial regarding Yang Hyun Suk and two other people’s charges of violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes by making threats of retaliation against an informant.
This is the first official trial for the case, which has already had two preliminary hearings. In May 2021, Yang Hyun Suk was indicted for threatening retaliation against an informant in the drug case involving B.I, who was one of YG Entertainment’s artists at the time.
B.I was indicted earlier this year for purchasing marijuana and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) in 2016 and using some of the drugs. In September, he was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for four years of probation, along with 80 hours of community service, 40 hours of a drug treatment course, and a fine of 1.5 million won.
In the preliminary hearings, the prosecution stated that Yang Hyun Suk had called “A,” the informant in B.I’s case, to the YG Entertainment building after learning about her statement to the police. According to the prosecution, Yang Hyun Suk threatened the informant and tried to get her to retract her testimony to the police. Yang Hyun Suk, through his legal representatives, denied the charges and said that he had only spoken with A without threatening her or forcing her to lie.
The trial on November 5 was the first one attended by Yang Hyun Suk himself. Asked by the court to state his name and employment, he introduced himself as the former general producer of YG Entertainment. Through his legal representatives, he reiterated his denial of having threatened A, saying, “It’s true that I met A, who informed the police about the suspicions of B.I purchasing drugs, but it is not true that I threatened her or forced her to make false statements.”
One of the witnesses in this trial was “B,” a police officer who was the first to question A in the original drug case. (In some articles, “B” is also referred to as “Choi.”) B stated, “In August 2016, after we arrested A at her residence for using drugs, we took her phone and searched through her conversation history and found evidence that she had sold drugs to B.I. We took a screenshot of these conversations and interrogated A about them.”
B continued, “A agreed to cooperate in the investigation into B.I and the prosecutor dismissed her preliminary arrest warrant, but on the afternoon of the day she was discharged, A said that she had an important meeting and postponed her interrogation to the next day. After that, the police were not able to get in contact with her.”
When the police did interrogate A as a witness in B.I’s case, A claimed that when she’d first sold drugs to him, the YG Entertainment representatives had found out and called her to the YG building to threaten her. B said, “A told us that the YG representative said to her, ‘If you sell drugs again, we’ll make it so you can’t live in Korea anymore. We’ll wipe you off the face of the earth.'” This reportedly took place around June 2016.
The main issue in this case is whether A received threats from Yang Hyun Suk to lie about her testimony regarding B.I. B said that after A had gotten a lawyer, she reversed her original statement to the police. B said, “We called A in August 2016 to interrogate her about B.I’s drug use suspicions, but A’s lawyer didn’t allow her to say anything from start to finish and answered all our questions himself. The lawyer behaved oddly when it came to testimony regarding B.I. A was also extremely cautious in speaking of him. But when the lawyer briefly left, A started crying and said, ‘I’m sorry.’ We tried to persuade her, but she just kept saying, ‘You know I can’t speak. I can’t do anything about it.'”
As part of the evidence, a recording of a phone conversation between Choi (B) and Han Seo Hee (A) in 2019 was revealed. In the recording, Choi persuaded Han Seo Hee to do an interview with a media outlet. Choi stated, “At the time, Han Seo Hee said things like, ‘If Yang Hyun Suk had given me 500 million won, I would’ve kept my mouth shut. I’m going to ruin him. I hate him.'”
There will be a total of seven witnesses testifying at this trial. On the list of important witnesses are B.I and the informant A. The next trial will take place on December 6.
Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews