A lower court on Wednesday turned down the arrest warrant sought by police against TV personality Robert Holley over his alleged drug use.
The Suwon District Court claimed that the police already had access to "most of the evidence materials" related to the accusations, adding that Holley admitted to the alleged crime.
The 60-year-old naturalized Korean was arrested by police Monday afternoon at a parking lot in Gangseo, Seoul, for allegedly violating the Narcotics Control Act.
Robert Holley (Yonhap)
He is suspected of injecting meth, bought online, at his house in Seoul earlier this month.
Police said they found evidence that he wired money to a drug dealer’s account in March. A syringe that appears to have been used to shoot meth was also found at a bathroom at his house.
During a police investigation Tuesday, Holley tested positive in a urinalysis for drugs. He also admitted to some of the charges, saying he bought the drug after seeing an advertisement on a website and contacting the dealer through social media.
Holley was investigated on drug use charges in July 2017 and March 2018. The prior investigations came to naught when he tested negative for drugs. Holley reportedly dyed his hair and shaved all of his body hair before the probe.
Police requested an arrest warrant for Holley at around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, claiming there was risk he would destroy evidence or take flight.
Upon arriving at the court, Holley told reporters he is sorry to his family, colleagues and public.
Meanwhile, local news outlet Newsis on Wednesday reported that a drug offender who was investigated by police in March 2018 along with Holley claimed he did the drug with the TV personality as they had been engaging in a romantic relationship.
That testimony, however, was never disclosed as Holley was cleared after the negative drug test.
Holley, who hails from California, appeared on various TV talk shows and advertisements speaking Korean in the Gyeongsang dialect he learned in Busan, proving popular with locals for his friendly demeanor.
He first came to Korea in 1978 as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has pursued a legal career in Korea as a lawyer since 1986.
He became a naturalized Korean in 1997.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)