Ex-Big Bang’s Seungri released from prison after serving sentence

Seungri, a former member of K-pop boy band Big Bang, was released from prison on Feb. 9 after completing his sentence for various crimes.

An official from Korea’s Ministry of Justice told Korean media that Seungri was released at about 5 a.m. on Feb. 9 from Yeoju Prison in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, after serving his sentence of one year and six months. He was originally set for release on Feb. 11.

Ex-Big Bang's Seungri (left) was released from Yeoju Prison (right) on Feb. 9 (Photos from Instagram, Yeoju Prison)

Seungri debuted in Big Bang in 2006 but left the group in March 2019 after he was embroiled in the Burning Sun club scandal.

On March 11, 2019, Seungri announced his retirement from the entertainment industry.

During a trial on Aug. 12, 2021, the General Military Court found Seungri guilty and sentenced him to three years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of 1.15 billion won (about $950,000).

He was immediately taken into custody and imprisoned at the Military Correctional Institution.

Seungri was found guilty by the military court on the following charges: prostitution brokerage 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 he was convicted, Seungri filed an appeal with the court. On Jan. 27 last year, the High Military Court of the Ministry of National Defense held a hearing wherein he admitted all the charges and expressed his intention to reflect.

The High Military Court appeared to have taken this into account and reduced his sentence to one year and six months.

After this, South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld his prison sentence of one year and six months in a decision on May 26 last year.

Seungri was transferred to the Yeosu Prison, a civilian prison facility after his discharge from the military, on June 9 last year.

He enlisted in the military in March 2020 and was supposed to be discharged in September 2021.

But he was convicted in August 2021 and his discharge deferred until the final decision was made in his case.