, SEOUL, South Korea, Feb 16 – A senior LG Electronics executive facing trial for allegedly sabotaging rival Samsung washing machines at a trade fair vowed to prove his innocence Monday.
“I will reveal the truth in court,” Jo Seong-Jin, the president of LG’s home appliance division, said in a statement.
The two South Korean tech giants have been fierce competitors for years, but the washing machine spat, which has been on a slow spin cycle for months, has made things personal.
Samsung claims surveillance video footage from the fair in Germany in September showed several men – whom they later identified as LG executives – destroying door hinges on the washing machines.
It filed a lawsuit accusing the LG executives of property damage and obstruction of business, and accused LG of making defamatory claims that its washing machines were defective. The trial date has not yet been set.
LG has counter-sued Samsung for defamation and forging evidence.
In his statement, Jo denied the video footage showed him pressing down on the doors of the machines until they would not close properly.
“Samsung employees would not have stood still with their hands free if I had intentionally damaged the washing machines,” he said.
Samsung produces a range of electronic products and leads the global markets for mobile phones and flat-screen TVs.
Its smaller rival LG is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of home appliances, including refrigerators and washing machines.
The two have locked horns for years over patent issues and PR campaigns that include ads denigrating each other’s products.
Last week prosecutors indicted four Samsung Display officials on charges of stealing LG Display’s technology.