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‘Suspicion of school violence’ 17-win ace, possibility of final trial in May ↑… Will there be a way back in the first half?

 The school violence trial of Doosan 17-win ace Lee Young-ha (26) is expected to end in early May at the earliest. Of course, the situation may change depending on the final verdict, but from the standpoint of Doosan, who lacks one pitcher, they can have hope for Lee Young-ha’s return in the first half. 

On the 25th, the Seoul스포츠토토 Western District Court’s 4th Criminal Division (Chief Judge Jeong Geum-young) held the 5th trial against Lee Young-ha, who was charged with special assault, coercion, and extortion. On this day, witness A, requested by the prosecution, responded to the newspaper in attendance. Witness A is a 1-year junior of Lee Young-ha at Sunrin Internet High School and a motive of the victim, Mr. Jo, and his position is a different beast from Lee Young-ha. 

Mr. A told the prosecution’s newspaper, “I have seen Lee Young-ha make the victim dance. As for the motive for testifying by appearing on MBC’s’PD Notebook’, which aired in March 2021, “I don’t know how the victim suffered and what kind of harsh behavior the defendant did in the sports club. I was trying to. I was hesitant at first, but the victim was my motive, so I decided to help.” 

“The accused made me hit my head on the concrete floor. It was the process of a senior making a joke to his junior. He also added that there were many cases where he had private time after night training or had a massage by a junior when he was going to bed.” 

Next came the lawyer’s interrogation. Regarding Lee Young-ha’s assembly and suspicion of ramen extortion during Taiwan’s field training in February 2015, Mr. A said, “I’ve seen a pitcher team called out to get a kick, but I’m a beast team, so I haven’t seen the situation after that. I shared with my classmates who hit me and what kind of tricks I received, but I can’t remember exactly. Doing so may result in disadvantages such as being lazy. But I don’t remember who took the ramen.” 

Next, Mr. A testified about Lee Young-ha’s abuse in Busan at the end of August 2015, “I don’t remember if Lee Young-ha accompanied me to Busan at the time.” Previously, the victim claimed that Lee Young-ha had acted harshly at the Busan Association long-term national high school baseball tournament, but Lee Young-ha said, “At that time, I was selected as a youth representative and had a separate call-up training in Gunsan, Jeonbuk. At that time, I was not in Busan.” In fact, Lee Young-ha was selected as a youth representative in 2015 and departed on August 26 for Osaka, Japan, where the World Youth Championships were held.

The court set the sixth trial for May 3. On this day, one witness from Lee Young-ha’s side is expected to attend and respond to the newspaper. The judge said, “If possible, we will decide to end the trial on the next date. Among the facts of the prosecution, it was argued that Lee Young-ha was not at the place of the crime (Busan) as a national representative selection and did not live in his own room (during the period of being victimized). The prosecution’s opinion on this is not clear.”

Lee Young-ha’s side expects that if the sixth trial proceeds as scheduled on May 3, a sentence will be issued in early June. If that happens, the way for Lee Young-ha to return in the first half of the year can be opened. Of course, a final acquittal must be obtained, but Lee Young-ha’s lawyer Kim Seon-woong said, “Today, the prosecution said that they had no opinion about the presentation of our alibi evidence at the courthouse. Looking at this, it seems that the evidence on our side is a little more convincing or credible.” 

Lee Young-ha’s current status is an uncontracted pending player. Since the Doosan club decided to proceed with the negotiations after completing the school violence trial, Lee Young-ha is currently warming up at the Bears Park in Icheon and closely monitoring the situation. The key is the first trial sentence, which is expected to be announced in early June. If they are found not guilty, they can aim for a comeback before the All-Star break, but if not, follow-up measures such as additional trials and disciplinary actions are inevitable. Lee Young-ha’s side said, “We will deliver our opinions to the court in the direction of ending the hearing on May 3 as much as possible.” 

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