Jan. 5, 2009 – The Taiwan High Court has found former UMC chairman Robert Tsao and vice-chair John Hsuan not guilty in alleged illegal funding of Chinese chip company HeJian Technology. Cheng Tun-chien, head of a former UMC affiliate funding firm, was also exonerated.
The court ruled prosecutors offered “insufficient evidence” that the two UMC execs invested the foundry’s funds in He Jian without shareholder approval, and did not present estimates of losses UMC may have suffered as a result of the alleged misdeeds, note the Taiwan News and Taipei Times. The two execs had argued that UMC had only helped He Jian with its technology, not with money; the previous Taiwan administration had accused Tsao of not obtaining government approval for technology transfer.
Both papers note that though the not-guilty ruling for breach of trust is final, prosecutors may appeal a related case up to the Supreme Court concerning violation of the Business Accounting Act. The three were originally found not guilty by the Hsinchu District Court in late 2007, after being initially indicted in Jan. 2006.