Samsung Chairman Lee Ordered to Appear in Indian Court Case

Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) Chairman Lee Kun Hee, South Korea’s richest person, was ordered to appear before an Indian court in a dispute over a $1.4 million payment after losing a motion to avoid presenting himself.

Lee should appear on July 14 after his petition was dismissed, Magistrate Ram Karan Yadav of Ghaziabad district court in Uttar Pradesh state said in an order issued June 2. Samsung spokeswoman Rhee Soeui also said yesterday that Lee’s request not to attend had been rejected. The billionaire was appealing an April 2 decision by India’s Supreme Court for Lee to come to India to face charges.

Lee, who has a net worth of $12 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, oversaw Samsung’s transformation into the world’s largest maker of smartphones, televisions and computer memory chips. The 72-year-old was hospitalized last month after undergoing emergency surgery following a heart attack.

“Chairman Lee has no relation to this case whatsoever,” Samsung said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “We believe that the Indian courts will recognize that Samsung is in fact a victim of an international fraud case and deliver justice,” the company said.

The dispute dates back to 2002 after a Dubai subsidiary of the company, Samsung Gulf Electronics, ordered $1.37 million worth of coke calcination packages from New Delhi-based JCE Consultancy, according to Indian district and Supreme Court documents. JCE filed a criminal complaint in 2005. The merits of the case have never been argued.

The substance is used in making aluminum.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bianca Vázquez Toness in New Delhi at btoness@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net Robert Fenner, Dick Schumacher

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