SEOUL, Dec. 20 (Yonhap) -- A lawyer for two producers of a high-profile K-pop audition show admitted most of their charges involving vote-rigging during a preparatory hearing on Friday.
Ahn Joon-young, a director of Mnet cable TV's "Produce X 101," and the program's chief producer, Kim Yong-beom, were detained early last month after they were accused of having tampered with mobile text message-based voting results of the high-profile show in favor of certain contenders.
In July, a vote-rigging scandal hit hard the fan-voted idol competition show by the K-pop-oriented music channel of entertainment giant CJ ENM after some fans raised the allegations, referring to suspicious patterns in the final vote count of the show's fourth and latest season, the 11 winners of which officially debuted as boy band X1 in August.
The two are also suspected of having received bribes worth tens of millions of won on several occasions at entertainment spots from talent agencies in return for the manipulation.
Ahn reportedly admitted to fixing the results in a past police probe.
Ahn and Kim did not attend the preparatory hearing at the Seoul Central District Court earlier in the day.
At the hearing, their lawyer admitted to the allegations in general but raised questions over some part of the breach of trust.
The lawyer also requested that the court proceed with future hearings behind closed doors, citing that witnesses of the case are reluctant to attend them.
The next preparatory hearing is set for Jan. 14.
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