Jo Seong-jin, the head of LG's home appliance division, has been indicted by Seoul prosecutors on charges of intentionally damaging four units of Samsung's Crystal Blue washing machines before a trade show held in Germany last September.
The charges were for obstruction of business and defamation, according to a spokeswoman for LG, who added that two other executives of the company were indicted on similar charges from the same incident.
"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," said Ham Yoon-keun, a lawyer for Jo Seong-jin in a statement.
"The truth will be revealed in the courts," Ham added.
The incident is the latest in a long list of disputes between the South Korean electronics giants, which compete in several industries including home appliances and electronics. The companies have previously publicly quarreled over issues such as capacities of refrigerators and who among them had a bigger slice of the air-conditioning market.
The issue started in September 2014, when Samsung accused executives from LG of damaging the doors in several of the company's washing machines in two shopping centers in Berlin, in what Samsung said was LG's attempt to gain an advantage in the competition between the two companies. From the very beginning, LG has denied such allegations.
While the company does not deny that Jo and the other executives were surveying Samsung's products, LG said that the broken doors of the Samsung washing machines were probably due to the poor quality of the door hinges.
Attempting to resolve the issue, LG paid for the retail price of the four washing machines that were allegedly damaged by the executives, which amounted to $2,700. However, Samsung pushed forward with a lawsuit for defamation and property damage, which led LG to file a countersuit for defamation and possible tampering of evidence.
In December of last year, prosecutors raided LG offices in connection with the issue, and Jo has been temporarily banned from leaving South Korea.
The spokeswoman for LG said that representatives from the two companies met recently for an attempt of mediation by prosecutors. The attempt, however, failed.
Jo has released CCTV footage in a bid to prove his innocence, showing the executive being accompanied by Samsung officials.
"All the scenes were recorded on CCTV and Germany's persecution which investigated this case did not indict us," Jo said in a statement.
Separately, subsidiary Samsung Display announced that four of the company's employees were indicted on charges of stealing OLED display panel technology from LG Display, a subsidiary of LG Electronics.
"Given that this information is one of LG Display's business secrets, Samsung Display's such action should obviously be considered as a theft," said LG Display in a statement. Samsung Display, however, believes that the indictment is uncalled for as the technology was already widely known, the company claimed.