Panel to conclude dead actress’s case next week

By Kim So-hyun
  • Published : May 14, 2019 - 14:56
  • Updated : May 14, 2019 - 14:56

The Justice Ministry’s special commission on past misconduct by the prosecution is set to announce next week whether an actress’s death in 2009 should be reinvestigated.

A fact-finding team under the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office wrapped up its 13-month probe and submitted a final report to the commission Monday.

The panel said they had requested the team to revise some parts of the report and that they would announce the results of their review on Monday.

Actress Jang Ja-yeon killed herself in March 2009. She had left a note accusing her agent of forcing her to provide sexual services to influential men.

Only the agent surnamed Kim and Jang’s manager surnamed Yoo were indicted at the time. Those suspected of having received sexual favors from Jang were acquitted.


The team said Kim should be investigated on perjury charges and requested for investigation records from 2009 related to suspicions that Kim coerced Jang and other entertainers to serve high-profile figures at drinking parties between 2007 and 2008, during which several allegedly raped Jang.

However, it is not likely that the request will lead to a recommendation for further investigation due to issues such as the statute of limitations.

“We have not obtained definitive proof to immediately start an investigation. The victim is dead, and we had difficulties specifying the perpetrators,” an official from the team said.

The team reportedly investigated over 80 people, including a former reporter who allegedly molested Jang at a party, and put him on trial.

The team also grilled Koreana Hotel President Bang Yong-hoon, former TV Chosun CEO Bang Jung-oh, who allegedly met Jang at a dinner, and Jang’s colleague Yoon Ji-oh, who claimed to have seen the note left by Jang.

On April 23, team said it had requested the panel for investigation by the prosecution into allegations that Jang was a victim of sexual violence.

However, some members of the team publicly expressed disagreement, saying they had not obtained enough evidence to recommend an investigation.

Questions on Yoon’s credibility also arose, as a writer whose help Yoon had sought in publishing a book had accused her of lying about certain matters.

By Kim So-hyun (