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Broadcasting watchdog chief to attend court hearing on arrest warrant

Entertainment 10:49 March 29, 2023

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- A court was set to hold an arrest warrant hearing Wednesday for the chief of the state broadcasting regulator over suspected score manipulation during the renewal of a broadcasting license for a cable TV channel in 2020.

Korea Communications Commission (KCC) Chairman Han Sang-hyuk, an official appointed by former liberal President Moon Jae-in, is to attend the hearing slated for 2 p.m. at the Seoul Northern District Court.

A file photo of Han Sang-hyuk, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission (Yonhap)

A file photo of Han Sang-hyuk, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission (Yonhap)

Last Friday, prosecutors requested a pretrial warrant to detain Han on charges of involvement in deliberately giving low scores to TV Chosun, a right-leaning cable channel, during its license renewal evaluation process three years ago.

The court's decision on Han's arrest warrant is expected to come out Wednesday night.

Two former KCC officials and a professor who formerly chaired the license review panel were earlier arrested and indicted in connection with the allegations.

Han is suspected of instructing the two former KCC officials and the professor to lower the final evaluation score of TV Chosun.

Han has denied all his charges.

TV Chosun received 653.39 points in the review, just passing the 650-point threshold for the renewal of cable channel licenses, resulting in a conditional approval. The cable network got low scores in key categories, such as responsible and objective broadcasting.

But the state audit agency notified the prosecution last year that review panel members had deliberately lowered their evaluation scores for TV Chosun.


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