On December 22, the Seoul Central District Court announced its initial ruling in former YG Entertainment producer Yang Hyun Suk's threatening case against an informant 'A'.
Previously in 2020, Yang Hyun Suk was accused of threatening a female informant 'A' in order to cover up former iKON member B.I's illegal drug use case from 2016. According to 'A', Yang Hyun Suk ordered her to take back her statements to police about B.I's involvement in any drug dealings, and thus the former iKON member avoided investigation at the time.
However, the issue was soon brought into light again in 2020, and B.I underwent a formal investigation for the purchase and use of drugs like LSD and marijuana. In September of 2021, the court ruled that B.I was guilty of possessing and using the drugs, and he was sentenced to a probationary period of 4 years.
Meanwhile, around the same time, Yang Hyun Suk was investigated and forward to prosecution for charges of threatening. Last month, during a court hearing for the case, prosecution claimed, "[Yang Hyun Suk] clearly had ill-intentions to threaten the informant 'A', based on his comment, 'It would be so easy for me to kill someone like you'," and demanded 3-years in prison for the former YG Entertainment producer.
However, on December 22 the Seoul Central District Court ultimately ruled that Yang Hyun Suk was "not guilty" of threatening informant 'A'. Regarding the decision, the court stated, "In order to rule the defendant guilty of threatening and retaliation, the informant's decision to recall their earlier comments must have been out of fear, with their individual freedom of speech significantly suppressed. However, the exchanges between [Yang] and the informant do not adequately indicate that the informant was under severe pressure."
The court continued, "Throughout the investigation, 'A' corrected her witness account numerous times. Additionally, after fulfilling her part by recalling her statements in front of police, 'A' demanded various forms of compensation, including a payment of 500 billion KRW. Thus, it is difficult to conclude that 'A' was threatened to the point that her freedom of speech or decision-making was compromised."
However, the court also commented, "Nonetheless, the defendant Yang Hyun Suk used certain measures and convinced the informant 'A' to take back her comments about B.I's affiliation with illegal drug dealings. Such actions can be seen as a violation of criminal justice laws and merit public scrutiny."