On December 20, the first preparation trial session involving the manipulation of Mnet's 'Produce' series took place at Seoul's District court office. Individuals involved in the manipulation of the 'Produce' series including Ahn Joon Young PD, Kim Yong Bum CP, a secondary PD Lee, as well as 5 other entertainment affiliates will face trial for charges including fraud, interference of business, offering bribery, etc. However, on this day, the accused individuals did not attend the preparation session, instead represented by their lawyers.
During this preparation session, CJ ENM's legal representative -in charge of Ahn Joon Young PD, Kim Yong Bum CP, and Lee PD - stated in front of the court, "We plead guilty to most of the prosecution's accusations, except for the acceptance of illegal bribery."
The legal rep continued, "The defendants believe that they must face whatever punishment sentenced for their wrongdoings, and they are prepared to accept the outcomes of the trial. However, the trainees whose rankings were manipulated in this process still do not know the truth. We hope that this trial can proceed in a direction where we may lessen the potential damages toward these trainees as much as possible. If doable, we hope that the trial will be held privately."
In response to this request, the judge commented, "It's true that we must prevent any further damages to victims involved in this case. We will adjust the trial accordingly."