UPDATED 8/19, 4:15 p.m. ET: A witness in YSL’s RICO case was reportedly placed in protective custody.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the unidentified individual—described as a “YSL associate”—was named in a leaked court document that recently surfaced online. State prosecutors say the witness intended to testify against Young Thug and other YSL associates, who are currently facing a slew of of racketeering and gang-related charges.
“We found a lot of information concerning one of our witnesses on basically a (celebrity news) outlet,” Fulton County prosecutor Don Geary told Judge Ural Glanville, adding the leaked document jeopardized the witness’ safety.
Prosecutors asked the judge to restrict certain evidence until the 2023 trial.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said attorneys were given the document in question during the discovery phase, and its information has since “appeared on public websites.”
“As a result [of the leak], the state now has grave concerns about the safety of that named witness and other potential witnesses in this trial,” said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
An attorney for Gunna, who is listed as a co-defendant, pushed back on the prosecution’s claims that potential witnesses were being threatened.
“We want to know what specific threats there are,” attorney Kristen Novay said. “There have been many allegations that there are threats to witnesses, and to date we have received no discovery, not a single shred of evidence from a witness who was actually threatened.”
See the original story below.
As attention continues to build surrounding the controversial YSL case, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is reported to be alleging that a recent leak has resulted in threats being made against a witness.
Per a report from local Atlanta-focused outlet WSB-TV, the D.A.’s office claims it has been made aware of “a document and part of a cooperating witness’ statement” having been leaked and shared to social media. As for the witness in question, the individual is described in the report as a “cooperating YSL associate” whose family is also claimed to now be at risk in connection with the alleged threats.
Quoted in the report is attorney Brian Steel, who represents Young Thug. Speaking on the ramifications of such leaks, Steel said those responsible are “not doing anybody a favor” by sharing such information. In fact, Steel is quoted as saying, “it is totally inappropriate to try this case in social media.”
Complex has reached out to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, as well as to Steel’s office, for comment. This post may be updated.
As revealed in a previously reported 56-count indictment naming multiple individuals, Young Thug is facing charges of conspiracy to violate the RICO act and participation in criminal street gang activity. Among the other individuals named in the indictment is Gunna, who is accused of conspiring to violate the RICO Act.
Amid ongoing coverage of the case, many artists and supporters have argued this is merely the latest example of art being criminalized. Specifically, attention has been given to the attempted use of creative expression in the form of lyrics in the pursuit of charges. Both Young Thug and Gunna have expressed support for the since-launched Protect Black Art petition, which had amassed nearly 60,000 signatures at the time of this writing.
“This isn’t just about me or YSL,” Young Thug said in a pre-recorded message that aired during Summer Jam in June. “I always use my music as a form of artistic expression and now I see that Black artists and rappers don’t have that, you know, freedom. Everybody please sign the Protect Black Art petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”