Samsung Group said Monday that it would seek another legal option to exempt chairman Lee Kun-hee from appearing in person before India’s court to face criminal charges filed by an Indian company.
The Korean conglomerate reiterated that Lee has “no connection to this case whatsoever.”
“Samsung is expected to tell the court once again that the chairman will not be able to attend the trial,” said a Samsung official.
“The plaintiffs are insisting the chairman appear in court without having any solid evidence or legal basis to corroborate his involvement,” Samsung said in an email statement.
The group added that: “The application for personal exemption had been filed to help expedite the legal proceedings, and Samsung will continue to pursue all available remedies under the law. Samsung believes that the Indian courts will recognize that Samsung is in fact the victim of an international fraud case, and deliver justice.”
This comes as India’s Ghaziabad district court issued an order for Lee’s appearance again on June 2 after it rejected Samsung’s earlier exemption request after India’s highest court gave an ultimatum to Lee in April to come and face a trial or be arrested as soon as he enters India.
The Samsung chairman is currently embroiled in a legal case in which he is accused of several charges, including fraud against a New Delhi-based company called JCE Consultancy. The company is said to have filed charges against top Samsung executives including Yun Jong-yong, the former CEO of the conglomerate’s flagship electronics business.
The Indian company claimed that it had a bill of exchange to supply goods worth some $1.4 million in 2001 to Sky Impex, a Dubai-based trading firm, which bought the products for Samsung’s Dubai subsidiary, Samsung Gulf Electronics. JCE Consultancy claimed that it has not received payment for the exchange.
Samsung, however, is claiming that it was also the victim of a scam, and said that it did not pay for the bill of exchange as it found that the transaction was fraudulent, a Samsung spokesperson said.
The scam reportedly involved representatives of Sky Impex and officials from Samsung Gulf Electronics, who plotted to embezzle $1.4 million that was due to JCE Consultancy.
Some of the involved Sky Impex executives sentenced to prison terms of two years by a Dubai court are said to still be at large, according to news reports.
Meanwhile, the Samsung CEO, who underwent surgery after a heart attack, is currently still recovering.
By Kim Young-won and Park Hyong-ki