Defendants involved in the “Produce 101” series manipulation controversy have admitted to charges laid out by the prosecution in the first pretrial hearing.
On December 20, a pretrial hearing was held at the Seoul Central District Courts regarding the case involving producing director (PD) Ahn Joon Young, chief producer (CP) Kim Yong Bum, PD “Lee” and five representatives in the entertainment industry on charges of fraud, obstruction of business, and violations of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act through bribery. Defendants are not obligated to attend pretrial hearings, and their legal representatives and the prosecution were in attendance to lay out the details of the case.
The legal representative of PD Ahn Joon Young, CP Kim Yong Bum, and PD “Lee” stated, “The defendants admit to the majority of the charges and believe they must be punished accordingly.” However, they also added, “But there are aspects of the amount of money being described to be involved in the bribery charges, as well as the motive of the defendants, that are different from the truth,” and stated these are the charges they will argue in court.
The legal representatives of the five other industry representatives involved in the case also stated that though the defendants admitted to the charges of the case, they believed the details of the amount of money that had been involved should be reexamined.
Near the end of the hearing, the lawyer for PD Ahn Joon Young, CP Kim Yong Bum, and PD “Lee” requested that it be a closed trial. They explained, “The defendants believe that there must be punishment for wrongdoing. However, the trainees who had their rankings changed have no idea that it happened to them. There are many misunderstandings taking place in comments on portal sites, so we wish to make this request in order to minimize the damages. The defendants are even hesitant to appear for witness questioning because of this. We would like for this to be a closed trial.”
The courts responded by stating, “As we must prevent further damages, we will take this into consideration and make adjustments before proceeding with the trial.”
The second pretrial hearing is set to be held on January 14 at 10:20 a.m. KST.
Sources: Naver (1, 2, 3), Soompi.