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Yoo Ah-in awaits fate as he appears in court for arrest warrant hearing

Court decision expected to be released on Wednesday afternoon; actor denies reports that he helped accomplice flee the country

By Park Jun-hee

Published : May 24, 2023 - 15:13

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Actor Yoo Ah-in attends a court hearing at the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap) Actor Yoo Ah-in attends a court hearing at the Seoul Central District Court in southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean actor Yoo Ah-in attended a hearing at the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday as the court determines whether to issue him with a formal arrest warrant following allegations of illegal drug use.

The hearing comes two days after prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for Yoo, whose real name is Uhm Hong-sick, out of concerns that Yoo might destroy evidence or flee the country.

The veteran actor appeared at the hearing at 11 a.m. after the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency filed an arrest warrant request against Yoo last week.

When asked by a group of reporters if he admits to his drug charges, including using cocaine, Yoo shortly replied that he “admits to most of the accusations,” refusing to elaborate further. However, the actor dismissed reports that he had tried to help his accomplice flee the country while undergoing an investigation.

After the 90-minute hearing, Yoo said he “sincerely regrets doing drugs” and has done everything he could to “reveal the truth.”

Yoo is suspected of using five illegal or prescription drugs for non-medical purposes: cannabis, cocaine, ketamine, propofol and insomnia medication known as zolpidem -- all of which are illegal under the country’s Narcotics Control Act.

During two rounds of police questioning held on March 27 and May 16, Yoo partially admitted to smoking cannabis while he claimed that he had used propofol, ketamine and other drugs for medical purposes.

The court decision is expected to be announced Wednesday afternoon.