LG executive indicted over broken Samsung washing machine

PCWorld News

LG Electronics has released a video in defense of its executive who was indicted Sunday by prosecutors in Seoul for allegedly damaging Samsung Electronics’ washing machines before a show.

It released Monday closed-circuit television footage showing Jo Seong-jin, the head of LG’s home appliance division, testing Samsung products including washing machines, dish washers and refrigerators before the IFA electronics show in Berlin last September.

LG claimed Jo meant no harm but it was his regular practice to test the rival company’s machines, something he has done while working for LG for the past 38 years.

The executive and two other employees are charged with vandalism, defamation and obstruction of business, a spokeswoman for LG said in an email.

Samsung first sued the LG executives last September for allegedly damaging the door hinges of three “Crystal Blue” washing machines displayed at two separate retail stores in Berlin before the trade show.

LG countersued Samsung claiming that the damage was due to the poor quality of the rival’s products and accused Samsung of fabricating and hiding the evidence. In December, prosecutors raided LG’s headquarters in Seoul as part of a probe, and called in the company executives including Jo for further investigation.

Ham Yoon-keun, a lawyer for Jo, said in a statement provided by LG, that it is questionable whether there is sufficient evidence to prove Jo damaged the washing machines at a location where Samsung’s employees were present. The German prosecutors have already dropped the case, he added.

The prosecutor’s office in Seoul was not available for comment. Samsung declined to comment.

The arch-rivalry between the two biggest electronics makers in South Korea showed up again in another ongoing feud between their sister companies, LG Display and Samsung Display. The Suwon prosecutors indicted last Friday four employees of Samsung Display for stealing some OLED technologies from a contractor for LG Display.

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