Former YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun Suk was acquitted of threatening a witness in the drug case of former iKON member B.I due to ‘insufficient evidence’.
On the morning of December 22, the first trial was held for Yang Hyun Suk who was indicted on charges of violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment for Specific Crimes (threatening). The court acquitted Yang Hyun Suk, citing the victim’s inconsistent statements and the lack of direct evidence to prove that Yang Hyun Suk threatened the victim.
The court’s explanation was essentially that YG likely did try to pressure Han Seo Hee into changing her testimony, but she had credibility issues as a witness so it’s difficult to convict YG of threatening her.
The court cited, “It seems that Yang Hyun Suk tried to persuade and pressure the victim to reverse her statement, which is worthy of criticism.” Yet, they cited that the victim had reversed her statement several times, and it was believed that she acted in anticipation of compensation such as money which lead to lack of credibility in her words.
According to the court, “Intimidation means threatening to harm and preventing decision-making by arousing fear. If you acted in response to someone else’s request while expecting some kind of compensation from them, it cannot be regarded as a restriction on decision-making. The victim, although she said that she was scared, contacted [Yang Hyun Suk] in a friendly way and voluntarily informed him of the situation as she reversed her statements, and she repeatedly smoked marijuana with a member of BIGBANG. It is difficult to understand why she continued providing drugs to the YG group member. [Thus,] it is difficult to conclude that she felt fear to the extent that her freedom to make decisions was violated.”
Morally, I’m not sure how much better covering it up with a pay off is or simply pressuring a witness to change testimony, quite honestly. However, that possibility definitely makes it hard to convict him of threatening the witness.
Regardless, I’m not surprised by the result, though I know others were really hoping for the worst for YG.
Legally, it seems like it’ll be harder to prove he said what he did unless there’s a recording, but the fact that they admit the meeting happened and the testimony changed immediately after … I mean, logically what does anybody think happened? It’s easily believable that YG said what he did as a way to cover up something. Would he actually [hurt her]? Probably not, but it seems like something that goes on behind the scenes more often than we’d like to admit.
Yeah, I still feel about the same way after this decision today. It’s more than likely he threatened her but it’s difficult to convict in a court of law given the aforementioned credibility issues and the possibility that YG simply tried to do some light tampering instead.