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(LEAD) T.O.P leaves hospital amid military service suspension

All News 15:41 June 09, 2017

(ATTN: REWRITES headline, lead; UPDATES with details in paras 2-3, 6)

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- T.O.P of South Korean boy band BIGBANG, who has been hospitalized for a drug overdose, left the hospital on Friday, as he was officially suspended from his mandatory military service due to a marijuana scandal.

"I'm sorry," the singer responded succinctly towards a barrage of questions from reporters as he came out of the intensive care unit of Ewha Womans University Medical Center in western Seoul.

The singer, who came out sitting in a wheelchair, was in a patient gown and wearing a mask. He was later transfered to another hospital at an undisclosed location by an ambulance, where he will receive psychiatric treatment.

T.O.P, whose real name is Choi Seung-hyun, is suspected of smoking the banned substance four times with a 21-year-old female trainee singer at his home in Seoul in October last year.

South Korean singer and actor T.O.P of boy band BIGBANG, who is serving his mandatory military service as a conscripted policeman, leaves his workplace in Seoul surrounded by reporters questioning his marijuana charges on June, 5, 2017. (Yonhap)

The singer, who began his military service as a conscripted policeman in February, was indicted Monday. He was hospitalized the following day from an apparent overdose of benzodiazepine by a police unit in eastern Seoul.

"There are no single patient rooms in the psychiatric ward at Ewha Womans University Medical Center. Choi and his mother decided to proceed with psychiatric treatment at another hospital," a hospital official said.

Earlier in the day, T.O.P was officially suspended from his mandatory military service after being indicted for smoking marijuana on multiple occasions.

Police regulation mandates the suspension of duty for conscripted policemen when indicted on criminal charges.

An official at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said, "Choi will be sent home immediately."

"We've suspended Choi from his duty after receiving the original indictment document from prosecutors," the official added.

T.O.P's military service period will be put on hold until a court reaches a verdict. If he receives a jail term of 18 months or more, he will be dishonorably discharged from the service.

In the case of a weaker verdict, T.O.P will become eligible for a police review on whether he is fit to serve with the police again. If he fails to pass the review, T.O.P will be discharged from the police and forced to finish his military duty as a public service worker.

Singer-rapper T.O.P's mother (R) arrives at an intensive care unit of Ewha Womans University Medical Center in western Seoul on June 8, 2017, where her son is hospitalized for a drug overdose. (Yonhap)


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