Ravi, a South Korean singer who attempted to evade compulsory military service and was found guilty, has expressed deep remorse during his appeal trial. Today marked the opening day of the appeal trial for Ravi, Nafla, and ten others facing charges related to violating the Military Service Act.
In this hearing at the Seoul Southern District Court, the prosecution argued that Ravi’s attempt to avoid military service was a particularly severe offense, especially given his status as a public figure, and maintained the initial two-year prison sentence that was initially suggested for the singer.
Ravi, holding a letter he had personally written, took the opportunity to read it aloud in court. He began by acknowledging his past mistakes, saying, “I have spent days reflecting on the foolish choices I made in the past.” Ravi continued, “I always wanted to make my supporters proud, and I’m truly sorry for using unethical methods to achieve that.”
He continued by stating his commitment to making things right, saying, “If I get the chance, I’ll work hard to become a better person and won’t forget my past mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Nafla, who had been in prison since the initial verdict, appeared in court on this day. Both the prosecution and the defense have lodged appeals in Nafla’s case as he has been maintaining his innocence against charges of obstructing official duties. However, the prosecution disagreed with the defense’s appeal, leading to the continuation of the trial.
While all able-bodied men in Korea are obligated to serve in the military, they are categorized based on their physical and mental health. Those classified as grades 1 to 3 serve in active duty for 18 months, those designated as grade 4 engage in alternative social services at public institutions for 21 months, and those in grades 5 and 6 are exempt from military service.
Ravi is facing allegations of securing a grade 5 classification by paying a military service broker to falsify his diagnosis. He had originally received a grade 3 designation in 2012 due to bronchial asthma but was later reclassified as a grade 4 in 2019.
Nafla faces charges of falsely claiming deteriorated mental health in 2021, with the intent to secure an exemption from mandatory military service. Additionally, he is accused of falsifying attendance records during his 21-month service period, leading to his arrest and subsequent prosecution.
During the first trial, Ravi was sentenced to one year in prison with a two-year probation period and 120 hours of community service, while Nafla received a one-year prison sentence.