BY Julie Jones | Mar 10, 2015 11:10 AM EDT
Model Lee Ji Yeon and former GLAM member and actress Kim Da Hee may soon leave prison. On February 11 they applied for bail and on March 10, the Seoul Central Court District allowed their application.
The convicted blackmailers have served six months in prison, as of March 3.
According to a statement by the court that was reported in the Korean news outlet seoul.co.kr/news, bail was granted after a careful consideration of the circumstances.
"We decided it was right to carry on without detention," said the court's statement.
Lee Ji Yeon and Kim Da Hee were sentenced to a year and two months and a year respectively after the first blackmail trial concluded in January. The women appealed their convictions. During the appeals trial, the prosecution asked for an even stiffer sentence, three years in prison.
Despite many letters of apology sent by both women, the prosecution found that the women did not seem truly repentant for what they had done and decided that they targeted the actor for blackmail from the onset.
However, two factors were taken into consideration when the court decided to approve the possibility of bail. The first was an appeal for leniency by the blackmail victim, actor Lee Byung Hun. Even though the actor reported the blackmail attempt to the police in August 2014, he said that he did not want Lee Ji Yeon and Kim Da Hee to serve prison time.
The women attempted to blackmail him by threatening to release video footage of the married actor engaged in a sexually explicit conversation. If he did not pay them almost $5 million, they would send the footage to the Korean media. Lee Byung Hun chose to report them to the police.
Lee Ji Yeon and Kim Da Hee admitted their guilt early on, although they tried to excuse their crime by saying it was prompted by an affair gone wrong between Lee Ji Yeon and Lee Byung Hun. He denied the affair.
Another consideration in the court's ruling was reportedly Lee Ji Yeon's health. It was reported that she required ongoing treatment. The court did not say what the condition was.
The final hearing on the appeals case will take place on March 26.
Lee Byung Hun, who has appeared in many k-dramas, as well as films both in the U.S. and Korea, is married to actress Lee Min Jung. The couple expects their first child in April.
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