Seungri (Instagram) 

Korean fans issued a statement regarding the conviction of former K-pop boy band Big Bang member Seungri. 

Seungri was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 1.15 billion won (about $990,233) by a general military court, which convicted him on nine charges last Aug. 12. The court also ordered the registration of his personal information for his sex crime. He was immediately taken into custody after the hearing. 

The 30-year-old K-pop idol, who enlisted in the military in March last year, was convicted for the following crimes: prostitution mediation in violation of Act on the Punishment of Arrangement of Commercial Sex Acts Etc., embezzlement, overseas gambling, procuring prostitution service, violation of Foreign Exchange Transactions Act, violation of Food Sanitation Act, violation of the Act on Special Cases Concerning The Punishment, Etc. of Sexual Crimes, violation of an Act on the Aggravated Punishment Etc. of Specific Economic Crimes and mobilizing gang to threaten people. 

After Seungri was found guilty, his fans on the fan community website DC Inside issued a statement. 

“To our eternal ‘Seungtsby’ [Seungri and Gatsby] Seungri: Fans remember the time when Seungri had a desperate dream to debut. At that time, Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of YG Entertainment, selected Seungri as the last member, and the history of the group Big Bang began,” they said. 

They added, “Since his debut, Seungri has appeared on variety shows with his fellow members, and he has had a strong image of an ‘immature maknae [youngest]’ and ‘troublemaker’ so he was sometimes a sore finger for fans.” 

“Nevertheless, the reason why Seungri was loved by many fans was that fans could feel the sincerity through his passionate and lively appearance on stage and on TV, and Seungri played a key role in elevating Big Bang’s status in K-pop,” they said. 

However, they said, since 2019, Seungri became involved in many cases and had a hard time “so the fans’ journey has also been a thorny path.” 

“Although Seungri left the group Big Bang, fans still cheered and supported him. They worshipped the dignity of Seungri more than anyone else, so there was no doubt that he would get through this ordeal,” the fans said. 

They added, “However, on the afternoon of August 12, the Ground Operations Command in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province held a hearing on the Seungri case at military court and sentenced  him to a three-year prison term with a 1.156.9 billion won in additional fines. It also ordered the registration of personal information.” 

“Seungri now faces another ordeal of constant agony in a remote place completely cut off from the world. This is also an opportunity to reflect on one’s own mistakes, so we humbly accept the judgment of this court,” they said. 

They said, “In the end, Seungri, who dreamed of a life as ‘The Great Gatsby’, met a tragic situation like the fate of ‘Gatsby’ but fans promise to look forward to the day when Seungri will stand tall again someday.”

“Please, we sincerely hope that Seungri will not give up until the very end,” the fans said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (