(Exclusive) “I didn’t know about banned substances” Former Lotte Song Seung-jun and Kim Sa-yul are guilty of all charges of ‘perjury’ in the second trial – Dong-A Ilbo VRESP

Panoramic view of Busan High and District Courts. News 1

Former professional baseball players Song Seung-jun and Kim Sa-yul, who were brought to trial on charges of giving false testimony in court and partially acquitted in the first trial, were found guilty in full on appeal. However, considering that they were first-time offenders, the court maintained the suspended prison sentence imposed by the original trial.

On the 12th, the Busan District Court Criminal Appellate Division 3 (Presiding Judge So-yeon Lee) overturned the judgment that partially acquitted Mr. Song and Mr. Kim on perjury charges in the first trial due to lack of evidence, found them all guilty, and sentenced them to six months in prison. Sentenced to one year of probation.

Mr. Song and Mr. Kim were indicted in October 2021 on charges of giving false testimony while attending the trial of former professional baseball player Lee Yeo-sang and health trainer, who were indicted on charges of selling banned substances (violation of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act). At the time, Mr. Lee was on trial on charges of selling growth hormone injections, a pharmaceutical, to Mr. Song and others for 16 million won around March 2017.

At the trial of Mr. Lee, Mr. Song and Mr. Kim claimed that they did not know that the sale of the drug was prohibited, saying, “(At the time of purchasing the drug) I did not know that the drug was a growth hormone, and I only heard from Mr. Lee that it was a stem cell nutritional supplement.” Since the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act does not have provisions punishing buyers of medicines, Mr. Song and others were not indicted at the time. However, the prosecution investigating Mr. Lee’s case discovered clues that Mr. Song and Mr. Kim had purchased the drug even though they knew it was banned while checking phone call recordings of the people involved, and they were sent to trial for perjury.

Mr. Lee and his health trainer, who previously appeared as witnesses at the trial of Mr. Song and Mr. Kim, said, “Mr. Song and others asked back at the time (purchasing the medicine), ‘Is it really okay or is it not a case of doping?’” and that Mr. Song and others perjured themselves. He testified that he did.

The first trial court found the drug guilty, saying, “The testimony of (Mr. Song and others) that they did not know it was a prohibited drug because they did not hear the explanation that it was a growth hormone was found to be false.” However, the part where he testified that ‘the defendants did not consult at the time of purchasing prohibited drugs’ was partially acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Mr. Song and others appealed against the ruling, but the second trial court also found them guilty in the part where they were found not guilty in the first trial due to lack of evidence. The second trial court said, “When considering the evidence and circumstances adopted, it is reasonable to assume that the defendants consulted with each other and purchased the prohibited drugs together,” and added, “We overturn the original trial’s ruling, including the not guilty part.” He added, “Although perjury is a serious crime, there is a need to severely punish the defendants in light of the fact that they deny the crime and do not reflect on it.”

Reporter Choi Mi-song [email protected]
Reporter Heo Dong-jun [email protected]

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