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Actor Kim gets suspended jail term


Actor Kim Sung-min

Popular actor Kim Sung-min was freed from jail Friday after receiving a suspended jail term for drug use.

The Seoul High Court sentenced him to 30 months in prison with the term suspended for four years for smuggling methamphetamine and using the drug as well as marijuana.

Kim was also ordered to pay 900,000 won in fines, take 40 hours of education on substance abuse and 120 hours of community service. He will also be under two years of probation.

“We usually impose heavy punishments on drug smugglers regardless of their social status, but we considered he brought the drugs to Korea not for the purpose of selling but for personal use. So we decided to give him a chance,” the court said in its ruling.

Kim shed tears upon the court’s decision.

“I know I was very wrong. I’m deeply repentent and I won’t make the same mistake. Please give me another chance, if possible,”
he was quoted as saying at the courthouse by his lawyer.

The 38-year-old actor was indicted last December on charges of smoking marijuana, bringing methamphetamine from the Philippines between 2008 and 2010, and taking the drug on four occasions.

The lower court handed down a 30 month prison term in January. Admitting to all charges, he appealed for lenient punishment, submitting written reflections to the court several times.

His lawyer said Kim will not appeal. "His parents' illness turned worse after he was jailed. But they are now relieved."

Kim was released from the prison in Uiwang, Gyeonggi Province, at noon.

Source: Kim Rahn @ The Korea Times
Tags: court / legal issues, crime, scandals
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