SBS’s “Unanswered Questions” has once again been forbidden to broadcast an episode regarding the death of Kim Sung Jae, a member of the popular ’90s duo Deux.
The singer was found dead on November 20, 1995 in a hotel room, at which time autopsy results showed that he had 28 needle marks on his body and traces of veterinary anesthetic in his system. His girlfriend, Ms. Kim, had come under suspicion of murder, but was acquitted during trial.
The Seoul Southern District Court accepted the latest request for broadcast injunction from Ms. Kim. As a result, the Kim Sung Jae episode of the show will not air on December 21 as planned. This follows an injunction filed by Ms. Kim in August this year, which prevented SBS from airing their previous episode on the singer.
Explaining their decision to accept the request for injunction, the court said, “The previous broadcast and this broadcast differ in reasoning only, but in the end, they both suggest that the filer of the injunction might have committed murder.”
They continued, “The main point of the previous broadcast was refuting the court ruling of the appeal [in the murder trial], which determined that one bottle of Zoletil 50 (a veterinary anesthetic agent, called Telazol in the U.S.) is not enough to cause a healthy young man like Kim Sung Jae to die. In the broadcast reviewed for this [injunction], the show is saying that the reason for acquittal was and still is valid.”
The court also determined that the broadcast contains unconfirmed information, which gives the impression that Ms. Kim purchased more Zoletil. The broadcast also raises suspicions that Ms. Kim injected Kim Sung Jae with magnesium sulfate, which also has not been confirmed.
“The show is saying that they planned their broadcast in order to fulfill viewers’ right to be informed, but it’s difficult to say that offering unconfirmed information to viewers is fulfilling viewers’ right to know or that it is contributing to the development of proper media coverage.
“After the preview was released for the previous broadcast, countless comments and articles were posted online, and most were expressing interest in whether or not the filer of the injunction had murdered Kim Sung Jae. If the main point of the broadcast is that it’s possible Ms. Kim murdered Kim Sung Jae, then it would be difficult for Ms. Kim to recover her reputation.”
Closing, the court said, “It’s not right to consider the value of a broadcast as more important than the reputation of an individual.”
“Unanswered Questions” responded to the court ruling, saying, “We respect the decision of the court, but we are deeply frustrated. So long as we continue to receive information on the case, we will continue to look into the matter.”
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