줄기세포 연구 조작 사건으로 기소된 한국의 과학자 황우석씨의 변호인들은 19일 재판에서 황 박사의 입장을 옹호했습니다.

사기와 횡령, 생명윤리법 위반 등의 혐의로 기소된 황 박사는 현재 혐의를 부인하고 있지만 유죄가 확정될 경우 최소한 3년형을 선고받게 됩니다.

검찰은 황씨가 재직했던 서울대학교 조사위원회가 인간복제에 관한 두 건의 연구논문에서 황씨가 핵심자료를 조작한 것으로 발표한 이후 수사를 시작했습니다.

황우석씨는 한때 줄기세포 연구 분야의 권위자로 국가적 영웅 대접을 받았었습니다.

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Lawyers began their defense today (Tuesday) for disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk. He faces charges in connection with his now discredited research on the cloning of human stem cells.

Hwang is charged with fraud, embezzlement (of more than two million dollars) and violation of bio-ethics laws. He denies the charges. If convicted, he could face at least three years in prison.

Prosecutors began their investigation after a panel at the university where Hwang worked accused him of fabricating key data in two research papers on cloning.

Hwang was once hailed as a national hero and a pioneer in embryonic stem cell research.

Embryonic stem cells are considered important because they can grow into many different kinds of human tissue. That makes them possible candidates to treat damaged organs and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.