BIGBANG rapper Choi Seung-hyun, better known by his stage name T.O.P, has received a sentence at the final trial of his marijuana case. Court maintained he had to be punished to set an example to society. The rapper also apologised to his fans for illegally smoking marijuana.
As noted by website Soompi, T.O.P's final trial took place on July 20 at 1.50 p.m. KST. The court announced, "The defendant has acknowledged all of the charges made against him and has been found guilty. Drug-related crimes not only hurt the individual's health but it can also have major negative effects on society as a whole, so there is no choice but to give a severe punishment."
The Seoul Central District Court also added, "However, we have taken into consideration that the defendant is sincerely self-reflecting, and that he does not have any previous criminal offenses."
Following this statement, the court announced that T.O.P will be sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for two years. He will also have to pay a fine of 12,000 won (approximately $10.7). So, the rapper will only be imprisoned if he violates the terms of the probation in the given time frame.
As noted by Koreaboo, T.O.P spoke with the press and made an apology to everyone for becoming tangled in the marijuana scandal. He said, "I am highly sorry over my actions. I am deeply reflecting over and over again. The only thing I can say to everyone is that I am very sorry. Other than that, I have nothing more to say." T.O.P added, "I currently have no plans to fight the sentencing with an appeal. I will face the charges given to me by the court."
Previously, following the earlier June 29 hearing of T.O.P, his lawyer had suggested that the rapper was in a relationship with the trainee Han So-hee and accused the trainee of influencing the rapper to smoke the banned substance in South Korea. "T.O.P acted the way he did following the trainee's suggestions after drinking. After breaking up with the trainee, T.O.P stopped smoking marijuana," the lawyer had said.
Han So-hee has also been sentenced, with four years of probation and a three-year prison sentence if she commits a repeat offence during that period. She was to receive a second trial. Koreaboo had reported earlier that her sentence is now the exact same as T.O.P, with added drug counselling for the use of LSD.