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B.I, former leader of iKON, gets suspended sentence for drug abuse

Entertainment 15:25 September 10, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- The former leader of K-pop boy band iKON got a suspended sentence on drug abuse charges on Friday.

The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Kim Han-bin, better known by his stage name B.I, to three years in prison, suspended for four years. He was ordered to do 80 hours of community service and to complete 40 hours of drug treatment sessions.

"He committed the crimes not just out of curiosity. A celebrity's drug-related offenses have a huge impact on society by making people, especially young people, less alert to the dangers of illegal drug use," the court said.

But it noted that the 25-year-old artist showed remorse and his family members said they would support him to overcome the abuse.

B.I was indicted on charges of purchasing illegal drugs, including marijuana and LSD pills, through an acquaintance in April and May 2016 and using some of them himself in violation of the Narcotics Control Act.

In his final statement to the court last month, he appealed for leniency, asking the court to give him another chance.

On Friday, he said, "I will try to become a person who can be forgiven by people whom I have hurt."

He did not answer questions about his future plans for music. He released an album in March and has recently been featured in solo artist Lee Hi's new song.

The drug scandal involving him led to the resignation of Yang Hyun-suk as CEO of YG Entertainment, home to iKON, as well as other prominent K-pop bands like BLACKPINK. B.I also left iKON over the scandal and had his contract with YG terminated.

B.I, the former leader of K-pop boy band iKON, heads to a courthouse at the Seoul Central District Court on Sept. 10, 2021. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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