The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office assigned the Burning Sun investigation to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday amid snowballing allegations over collusive ties between the police and the club’s management, but the latter said it would not be investigating the case “directly” for now.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said a team that supervises the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s investigators would be in charge of the case as of Monday.
The office added that the team would continue to direct the police’s investigation.
On March 11, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission asked the prosecution to investigate allegations of sex bribery involving K-pop star Seungri and corrupt ties between the club management and the police. The commission handed over messages from a group chat room in which Seungri and singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young took part. The group messages reportedly establish that Jung filmed and shared videos of sexual encounters without the consent of the women involved.
The rights commission said it submitted the chat messages to the prosecutors because an informant was concerned about collusion between the club and the police.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office transferred the case to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday and there had been discussions about whether it would directly investigate the case or continue supervising the police probe.
Monday’s decision is seen as an effort to avoid possible conflicts between the prosecutors’ office and the police over the authority to investigate the Burning Sun scandal.
The prosecutors’ office said it would keep the chat room records it had received from the rights commission, but would share them with the police upon request.
Meanwhile, police on Monday said they had obtained significant testimony regarding Seungri’s alleged brokering of paid sexual services for potential investors in his business.
The latest allegations against the 29-year-old K-pop singer include providing prostitutes for potential investors in his business and engaging in illegal gambling in Las Vegas on several occasions.
The police added that they would summon people related to Seungri, and that the probe would continue regardless of the singer’s upcoming enlistment in the military.
Also on Monday, the police requested an arrest warrant for K-pop singer Jung Joon-young, 30, and an employee at Burning Sun, over the sex video allegations. Like Jung, the Burning Sun employee is also suspected of having distributed what appear to be secretly filmed sex videos in the same group chat room.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)