Back on April 27, defendants Ahn Joon Young PD, Kim Yong Bum CP, as well as their legal representatives attended a 4th hearing involving vote rigging and rank manipulation charges of Mnet's 'Produce' audition program series.
On this day at the Seoul Central District Court, Ahn Joon Young PD again apologized for his charges, including accepting bribe offers at an adult entertainment establishment from entertainment company representatives. He said, "I did not know that the invitation was for such an [illegal] act, and I would not have accepted the invitation if I knew. I will never accept such an invitation again."
He also continued, "But the contestants' agencies did not make any specific requests regarding their trainees. In fact, I was the one in the position to make requests to the agencies."
Kim Yong Bum CP also claimed that the trainees' respective agencies were not involved in the broadcast manipulations. His side explained, "We manipulated the final rankings based on the trainees' already known images, their popularity from episodes prior to the finale, etc. In the case of 'Produce 48', the series was in a state of decline in viewership ratings and trending topics, and so we were worried about producing a lineup that the general public would prefer. But we did not manipulate the rankings based on any bribes from the contestants' agencies."
These two individuals are expected to attend another court hearing this coming May 12.