Prosecutors demanded a 10-month jail term for Cho Sung-jin, the president of LG Electronics' home appliance unit, who has been accused of intentionally damaging Samsung washers that were on display at shops in Germany last year, again in the final trial in the court of appeals held at the Seoul High Court on April 13. Cho was acquitted by the Seoul Central District Court in the first trial.
During the trial held at the Seoul High Court on the same day, the prosecution requested for his conviction, saying, “As the defendant damaged the competitor’s new products at an international electronics exhibition, which is paid attention by the whole world, and spread rumors that the product has serous quality problems, he ruined the international brand value and provided wrong information to consumers.”
Prosecutors also requested fines of 3 million won (US$2,561) and 5 million won (US$4,268) for a senior executive, surnamed Cho, and another senior official in charge of public relations, surnamed Jeon, who were indicted in connection with the scandal, as it did in the first trial.
Jo said in the final statement, “I will behave myself with discretion in the future. My act out of curiosity caused inconvenience and misunderstanding and I will be careful not to make misunderstanding from now on.”
Jo and two other executives were indicted without detention in February last year on charges of intentionally damaging the door hinges of two Samsung Electronics Crystal Blue washers and one dryer at two stores in Berlin on September 3, 2014.
The persecution also indicted Cho and Jeon for obstruction of business and defamation as LG Electronics spread rumors that Samsung Electronics’ washers have weak hinges through its press release about the incident. However, the Seoul Central District Court acquitted Cho of property damage in the first trial, saying evidence was insufficient to prove that Jo had intentionally damaged Samsung washers and dryer considering CCTV footage and testimony of store employees on the day. It also acquitted him of obstruction of business since it considered LG Electronics’ press release expression of its opinion instead of fact. It dismissed charges of defamation as Samsung dropped the charge and submitted the statement expressing no desire for punishment according to the agreement between Samsung and LG.
Samsung and LG agreed to end all legal battles, including the washer incident, at the end of March. The decision of the court of appeals will be given at 10 am on June 10.