Police have questioned six out of nine key figures linked to the allegations of sexual abuse surrounding the late actress Jang Ja-yeon.
An overseas travel ban has been imposed on one, and the Bundang Police Station said Monday that the nine suspects who were allegedly “entertained” by Jang are under investigation
“We have already interrogated six of them at their offices, or police stations where they wanted to be questioned. We will question the other three soon at places where they want, not calling them in,” said Lee Myung-kyun, the chief investigator at Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency.
If suspicions are found to have foundation and grave enough for legal action, police will summon them, Lee said. The figures are among those who were mentioned in the note the late actress left behind before she took her own life a month ago.
Police banned one of them from leaving the country. He is reportedly an online news company head who allegedly sexually harassed Jang at a bar. He is expected to be summoned for questioning this week.
The travel ban is the second in the case, following the one imposed on Yoo Jang-ho, the actress’ former manager who kept her seven-page suicide note. She claimed in the letter that her former agency head, Kim, forced her to provide sexual services and entertainment to the individuals in exchange for more media exposure.
Sources said the figures include a media firm CEO, an IT company president and the chairman of a large financial institute.
Police have almost finished tracing Kim’s credit card spending and his dinner and golf outing schedules to verify where and when they were entertained.
A request for the extradition of Kim has been made to the Japanese authorities after it was discovered he was in hiding on the other side of the East Sea. Attempts to trace his whereabouts are being made by tracking his cell phone location.
Yoo will be summoned today again for allegedly leaking Jang’s note. At first, he claimed he burned it with her bereaved family after the funeral, but later admitted that he showed copies to reporters. Jang’s family sued him for defamation of the late actress.
Police said they have interrogated some 60 people so far, including the six alleged to have engaged in the sexual abuse, Yoo, Jang’s friends and former agency staff members. Among them was comedian Suh Se-won, who visited the hospital Yoo stayed at to urge him not to disclose the case to the media.
In the meantime, during a session of the National Assembly, where the policy of the culture ministry ― as the government body responsible for overseeing the entertainment industry ― was called into question, Lee Jong-kul of the opposition Democratic Party demanded the names of the figures on the list be made public.
“Nothing has been disclosed even one month after the police started the investigation,” Lee said. “It is alleged that the police are trying to cover up the list as a newspaper president is included. The list should be disclosed to root out the chronic practice of providing sex services in the entertainment industry.” (Korea Times)