T.O.P gets suspended 10-month jail sentence

SEOUL • A South Korean court yesterday handed BigBang singer T.O.P a suspended 10-month jail sentence for drug use, after he pleaded guilty and sought leniency to avoid a prison term.

The suspended term for the 29-year-old, whose real name is Choi Seung Hyun, followed his indictment without detention last month for using marijuana four times in October last year with a trainee singer at his home in Seoul.

The use of marijuana is a serious crime in South Korea.

"I admit guilt on all charges and deeply regret my action," Choi told reporters following the verdict, which he does not plan to appeal.

Before the verdict, he had offered a public apology for letting down his family and fans.

During the investigation, he denied some of the charges he faced, but later pleaded guilty to all of them.

 

Choi had previously been taken to hospital after being found unconscious from an overdose of sedatives.

In 2011, G-Dragon, a fellow member of BigBang, also tested positive for marijuana, but was not prosecuted.

At the time, he told the South Korean authorities he had been offered what appeared to be a cigarette at a party in Japan. He had not realised he was being given marijuana because he was unfamiliar with its distinctive smell.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2017, with the headline 'T.O.P gets suspended 10-month jail sentence'. Print Edition | Subscribe