The “Produce 101” series vote manipulation case is headed to the Supreme Court to receive a final verdict.
The Seoul High Court shared on November 26 that the prosecution and defendants including Ahn Joon Young, Kim Yong Bum, and two entertainment agency representatives have objected to the verdict of the trial of appeals that took place this month. They’ve filed petitions of appeal, taking the case to the Supreme Court.
Following the finale of “Produce X 101” in July 2019, the show came under fire for apparent rigging of viewers’ paid votes that determined the final group lineup. An investigation uncovered evidence of vote manipulation in each of the four seasons of the show, which began airing in 2016.
Producing director Ahn Joon Young and chief producer Kim Yong Bum were sentenced in May, with Ahn Joon Young receiving a sentence of two years in prison and a fine, and Kim Yong Bum sentenced to one year and eight months. Assistant producing director “Lee” and five entertainment agency representatives were also fined.
The trial of appeals on November 18 upheld the original sentences for Ahn Joon Young, Kim Yong Bum, and “Lee.” The five entertainment agency representatives received heavier sentences at the trial of appeals, given eight-month prison sentences that are suspended for two years of probation. This means that they will only serve the prison sentences if they commit another offense during the probation period.
The list of contestants who were wrongfully eliminated due to the manipulation was also shared at the trial.
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