Police Find No Evidence Of High-Ranking Officials’ Involvement In “Produce 101” Series And “Idol School” Manipulation

Police have found no evidence of involvement of high-ranking officials in the voting manipulation of Mnet’s idol survival programs.

On March 2, Lee Yong Pyo, the head of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, reveled to the press during a regular meeting, “We plan to forward two additional people from the production team of the ‘Produce 101’ series to the prosecution with a recommendation for indictment.” He added, “We plan to also forward two people from the production team of ‘Idol School’ to the prosecution.”

Furthermore, Lee Yong Pyo stated, “We have been investigating the involvement of high-ranking officials, but we could not confirm this objectively.”

The police began investigating the “Produce 101” series in July 2019 after suspicions of voting manipulation were raised. Police investigated “Idol School” after similar suspicions about the show were raised as well. Eight people related to the “Produce 101” manipulation case, including producing director Ahn Joon Young and chief producer Kim Yong Bum, were indicted for suspicions such as obstruction of business, fraud, breach of trust through bribery, and violations of the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act.

To investigate suspicions that high-ranking officials in CJ ENM were involved in the manipulation, the police conducted an intensified search and seizure of CJ ENM back in October 2019.

Recently, the court dismissed the arrest warrant requests for two producers of “Idol School.” Seoul Central District Court’s warrant judge Lim Min Sung said, “Acknowledging the general facts, it appears to be an argument over just the legal evaluation. At the current stage, the reasons for detention and justification are difficult to acknowledge.”

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