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LG exec indicted over damaged Samsung washing machines

South Korean prosecutors have charged an LG exec for allegedly sabotaging Samsung-made washing machines during an electronics tradeshow in Berlin last year.

An LG executive is charged with damaging several Samsung washing machines at a tradeshow last year.

A senior executive at LG Electronics has reportedly been indicted in South Korea for allegedly vandalizing several Samsung washing machines.

Jo Seong-jin, head of LG's Home Appliance and Air Solution Company, has been indicted on charges he and two other employees wilfully sabotaged Samsung-made washing machines at an electronics store in Berlin ahead of a tradeshow in that city last year, according to Reuters. The indictment is the latest skirmish in the long-running feud between the cross-town rival electronics giants.

LG and Samsung representatives did not respond to requests for comment, but an LG statement given to the media questioned the strength of the evidence against Jo and the other employees.

"It is questionable whether there is sufficient evidence to prove that the president of a global company deliberately destroyed the machines where employees of the competing company were present," Ham Yoon-keun, a lawyer who will be defending Jo in court, said in a statement provided by LG. "The truth will be revealed in the courts."

Samsung earlier this year filed a lawsuit for property damages and defamation against Jo and four other LG Electronics executives after the IFA tradeshow in Berlin, claiming that the LG execs intentionally sabotaged the door hinges of one of its washing machines at an electronics store there. Samsung provided as evidence the damaged washing machine and CCTV footage allegedly showing Jo "willfully" damaging the appliance.

LG, which has strenuously denied the claims, paid for the damage in an attempt to diffuse the situation. The company then countersued Samsung for defamation and evidence tampering, claiming a Samsung employee damaged the washing machine beforehand.

In December, South Korean prosecutors imposed a travel ban on Jo due to his alleged failure to comply with multiple requests to attend investigations. LG had said that Jo would fully comply with investigators if prosecutors will temporarily lift the ban, allowing him to travel to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month.

The incident escalated in December when local prosecutors raided LG's headquarters in Seoul, seizing the hard drives and other data of the those that attended the IFA tradeshow along with Jo.

CNET's Cho Mu-hyun contributed to this report.