The trial of stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk began in South korea alleging that he was the mastermind of an elaborate scheme to manipulate research results to make it look like his team had actually produced stem cell lines through cloning human embryos.
Hwang is suspected of using part of the funds to purchase human ova — in violation of a bioethics law that went into effect in 2005 — and for donations to politicians, they said.
Prosecutors charged Hwang with misusing and embezzling 2.8 billion won ($2.91 million) in state funds and private donations. They said the misuse of state funds carries a jail term of up to 10 years while a violation of the bioethics law can mean up to three years behind bars.
Dr. Hwang has previously said that he is a victim of a conspiracy to discredit him and has blamed junior researchers at a fertility clinic that took part in the research for the fake data.