Executives charged for vandalizing washers

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Executives charged for vandalizing washers

Korean prosecutors charged three executives of LG Electronics with vandalizing high-end washing machines from Samsung Electronics at retail shops in Germany last year.

Jo Seong-jin, head of the home appliance division, was indicted along with Cho Han-ki and Chun Myung-woo, LG said in a statement citing Jo’s lawyer Ham Yoon-keun. The incident occurred ahead of September’s IFA show in Berlin, when a number of Samsung Crystal Blue washing machines, which sell for more than $2,000, were damaged.

The charges are the latest black eye for Korea’s chaebol.

“The truth will be revealed in court hearings,” Jo said in the LG statement. “It is doubtful if there’s any evidence that could prove that an executive of a global company would have intentionally vandalized products while employees of its rival company were watching.”

Samsung, which asked prosecutors to investigate, declined to comment on the charges. LG said all three indicted executives still work at the company and declined to make them available for comment, citing its policy on pending legal matters.

LG also posted a video on YouTube, which the company said shows the incident at the IFA show.

“I was accompanied by a bunch of LG officials, and many other people were at the German shops where I allegedly vandalized the Samsung washers,” Jo said in an emailed statement. “Samsung staffs were also watching us. If I intentionally destroyed the washers, Samsung officials would have not remained quiet.”

LG and Samsung are Korea’s biggest electronics makers, competing with each other in appliances, televisions and mobile devices.

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