Burning Sun Scandal: #JusticeforSeungri trends as witness exonerates ex BIGBANG star over prostitution charges
Seungri, the former member of BIGBANG, was indicted in January 2020 over prostitution and gambling charges. However, witnesses in court have made contradictory claims
For the last three days, fans of former BIGBANG member Seungri have taken to social media to protest the charges on which he was indicted in January 2020. The Burning Sun scandal shook the K-pop industry, and Seungri's reputation was left in tatters too after his involvement was investigated. However, witnesses have now claimed that the retired singer had nothing to do with the case.
Fans questioned the credibility of the prosecution and the police department as they were unable to get corroborating evidence from their own witnesses. It must be noted that 13 hearings have been conducted so far but there has been no evidence or testimony that incriminates Seungri. Instead, the statements only seem to exonerate the former BIGBANG member, who is currently serving time in the military. Instead, the 13th hearing revealed that there was confirmation bias.
According to a report in allkpop, it was reported that the prosecution and the police had allegedly redacted or changed witness statements made to the police during investigation. When the witnesses gave their testimony in court, it proved that Seungri was not involved in many of the charges for which he had been indicted. Several witnesses allegedly testified that police applied pressure and led witnesses with their questions to make them imply things that were not true or not meant to be recorded as their statements.
A few also testified under oath that police had allegedly inserted details that were not a part of the actual witness statement to incriminate Seungri. In the first hearing, Seungri had denied all charges levied against him except for violation of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act. His lawyer had stated, “We deny all charges except his violation of the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act.” They had also added, "The defendant (Seungri) has no motive to mediate prostitution. He did not play any role in Yoo In Suk’s prostitution mediation."
One witness' statement was cited by Business Mirror as proof of confirmation bias. The witness spoke about meeting a man in a hotel after they got to know of a "part time job" from a senior. However, they also confirmed that there was no mention of Seungri at any point. The witness said, "I got an offer for part-time work (prostitution) from an older sister (madam or senior) that morning and went to the hotel. I had no idea the ‘other man’ was related to Seungri.” They also disclosed that they were not aware that the customer was Japanese and said, “There was no sex. No one even mentioned Seungri’s name at the time”.
After this the witness asserted, “I never said I was in Seungri’s car. The police appeared to have said it was Seungri’s car, and it seems to have been written (by them) in that manner.” In the statement recorded by the police however, the statement reads, "After leaving the restaurant, I was in Seungri’s car for a while.”
Further, the witness also said in court, "I said there was one person among many people and he was a guy who appeared at the restaurant, but Seungri was also there, so it seems like the police wrote (him) to be a part of the ‘defendants group.’” The defence lawyer then asked the witness, "Did Seungri say anything (to you) in person at the scene?” They answered, "“Seungri didn’t provide any instructions, and I never even had any conversation (with Seungri)."
Over the 13 hearings, various reports have suggested that the prosecution failed in gathering incriminating evidence against Seungri and instead, their witnesses instead seemed to be clearing Seungri's name with their statements. The witness' statement in the 13th hearing along with those who testified earlier led fans to come out in support of their favorite idol.
Even when Seungri retired, he did not accept the charges made against him, but said that he didn't want to damage the reputation of the agency or his band. In March 2019, when Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyung, decided to retire amid an investigation into the Burning Sun Scandal, he said on Instagram, "I just cannot bear causing any further damage to people around me, while being hated and criticized by the public and being treated as a nation's enemy during the investigation."
All of this has fans questioning the evidence that has been gathered so far, and also pointing out flaws that were not looked into before. With two witnesses clearing Seungri of charges during the hearing on March 25, the 'Justice for Seungri' movement has gained momentum.
One fan wrote, "They thought SEUNGRI was going to rollover & take it! But ohhhhh how mistaken they were. SEUNGRI fought,...STILL FIGHTING & guess what? The people that tried to finish him are now being EXPOSED!!!!" Another fan said, "#JusticeForSeungri Our panda does not deserve what's happening to him. He should be enjoying his life but you made false accusations that mde his life in miserable." One fan said, "I’m so proud to have stood by him. Never wavered. Never had a slightest doubt. #JusticeForSeungri."
They thought SEUNGRI was going to rollover & take it! But ohhhhh how mistaken they were. SEUNGRI fought,...STILL FIGHTING & guess what? The people that tried to finish him are now being EXPOSED!!!! #JusticeForSeungri @ForvictoRi #BIGBANG @YG_GlobalVIP https://t.co/Z6UG2ocCVm— T.T. BIGBANG V5P 💛 (@malibu1939) April 6, 2021
#JusticeForSeungri— Rose anglea Picoc (@AngleaPicoc) April 6, 2021
Our panda does not deserve what's happening to him. He should be enjoying his life but you made false accusations that mde his life in miserable.
I’m so proud to have stood by him. Never wavered. Never had a slightest doubt. #JusticeForSeungri— Anonymous_VVIP (@anonymous_vvip) April 6, 2021