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Google Korea CEO summoned again in toxic sterilizer probe

All News 09:55 June 07, 2016

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- The CEO of Google Korea who formerly headed the local unit of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser was summoned again by prosecutors Tuesday to face questions over the British firm's toxic humidifier sterilizer which has caused numerous deaths and illnesses here.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office summoned John Lee as a suspect in the snowballing case that involves scores of deaths since 2011, including some pregnant women.

The summons came about two weeks after he was first grilled by prosecutors last month. During the first summons, Lee flatly denied allegations he was aware of the toxicity of the product, prosecutors said.

Lee headed the South Korean unit of the consumer goods company from June 2005 to May 2010, when sales of the sterilizer product were at their highest.

The humidifier disinfectant case, one of the worst scandals involving a consumer product using chemicals, came to light after four pregnant women died of lung problems from unknown causes in 2011. A government-led investigation confirmed a connection between the people who died of lung problems and the chemicals used to clean household humidifiers.

Prosecutor suspect that Lee did not take due measures even after receiving complaints from customers over the side effects of the product. He is also accused of false advertisement, saying the product is safe for children, even when the safety of the product had not been confirmed.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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