Prosecutors asked a Seoul court to sentence B.I, former member of K-pop boy band iKON, to three years in prison and impose a fine of 1.5 million won ($1.282) for using and buying illegal drugs.
B.I, 24, whose real name is Kim Hanbin, attended his first trial at the Seoul Central District Court on Aug. 27 on charges of violating Korea’s Narcotics Control Act. His father also attended the trial.
According to Korean media, prosecutors charged that B.I “violated the Narcotics Control Act by smoking marijuana three times in 2016 and buying LSD eight times.”
“LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the most powerful mind-altering chemicals. It is a clear or white odorless material made from lysergic acid, which is found in a fungus that grows on rye and other grains,” according to the US National Institute on Drug Use.
B.I was indicted without detention last May for the use and purchase of illegal drugs.
As evidence, the prosecution submitted KakaoTalk messages of B.I and his accomplices, and deposits and withdrawals related to LSD transactions.
The prosecution said B.I smoked marijuana three times in March 2016 and April 2016 and purchased LSD at a similar time.
In June 2019, B.I left iKON after a Korean entertainment news site published a report about KakaoTalk messages between him and a drug dealer. On Sept. 17, 2019, B.I was questioned by the Gyeonggi Southern Provincial Police Agency for 14 hours on the drug allegations. At the time, Korean media outlets reported that B.I admitted some of the charges that prompted the police to change his status from being a witness to a suspect.
Since last year, B.I has been busy with his solo activities, establishing a label, becoming an internal director of a company and charity works.
At the end of the trial, B.I said, “I acknowledge all the crimes. I made a very stupid mistake in the past. It broke the hearts of many people, including parents and younger sibling. I will never make this stupid mistake again, and I will live forever reflecting on myself.”
In his closing argument, B.I’s lawyer said, “B.I admits all his mistakes and is deeply regretting and reflecting on what caused a big scandal in society. However, we ask that you take into consideration the fact that B.I is a first offender, that he was tested negative for drugs in several subsequent tests, and that he made an effort to contribute to society by proceeding with a project to donate all the album profits.”
B.I’s father, who appeared in court, cried as he pleaded for mercy for his son, saying, “I should have taught my child well, but I didn’t. I resent myself and regret it. I have a daughter, and one day she came home from school crying. She said she heard a story that ‘your brother went to jail on drugs.’ As a parent, I will take responsibility and reflect on it until the end, and I will make sure to live my life diligently. Please give my poor son and my family a chance.”
B.I’s sentencing will be held on Sept. 10.