The Korea Herald


Court rejects popera star Kim's request to delay arrest warrant hearing

By Yonhap

Published : May 23, 2024 - 20:07

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This image shows a banner promoting popera star Kim Ho-joong's concert at Olympic Park in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap) This image shows a banner promoting popera star Kim Ho-joong's concert at Olympic Park in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

A Seoul court on Thursday rejected a request by embattled popera star Kim Ho-joong to postpone an arrest warrant application hearing on his reckless driving charges.

The previous day, prosecutors applied for an arrest warrant for Kim on charges of ramming into a stationary taxi in the opposite lane with his vehicle late on the night of May 9 in Seoul's southern Gangnam district while driving drunk. He then allegedly left the scene without taking post-accident measures.

The Seoul Central District Court is scheduled to convene a hearing on Friday to decide whether to grant the warrant request for the singer.

According to sources familiar with the case, Kim's lawyer filed a request with the court to delay the planned hearing, but the court rejected the plea.

The request apparently came ahead of Kim's two-day concert scheduled from Thursday to Friday, titled "World Union Orchestra Super Classic: Kim Ho-joong & Prima Donna." If the hearing takes place on Friday noon as planned, he would be held in custody until the court's final decision, making it impossible for him to take the stage.

Kim was scheduled to perform Thursday evening at KSPO Dome inside Olympic Park in southeastern Seoul. However, Dumir, the organizer of the show, announced Thursday that Kim will not be on the stage Friday.

The company said all the other artists on the bill will perform as scheduled, and fans will have until 8 p.m. Friday to ask for a full refund.

The 33-year-old singer rose to stardom after appearing on the audition show "Mr. Trot."

He came under public fury after it was reported that his manager initially lied to the police that he was behind the wheel at the time of the accident and that Kim appeared before the police 17 hours after the accident, apparently to evade a blood alcohol test.

Arrest warrants have also been sought for Lee Kwang-deuk, the head of Kim's management agency, and another agency official on charges of instigating Kim's flight from the accident site or destroying evidence. (Yonhap)