Tue, Aug 14, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Prosecutors seek two-year jail term for ex-UMC chief


Hsinchu prosecutors yesterday sought a two-year jail term for the former chairman of United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) on charges of breach of trust and violating the Business Accounting Law (商業會計法).

The Hsinchu District Court yesterday held its final hearing on charges that Robert Tsao (曹興誠) helped UMC, the world's second-biggest contract chipmaker, invest in China's He Jian Technology (Suzhou) Co (和艦科技) without obtaining shareholders' approval.

The court is scheduled to announce its verdict on Oct. 26, Hsinchu Prosecutor Chen Hung-chao (陳宏兆) told reporters.

Prosecutors yesterday also recommended a 22-month sentence for former UMC vice chairman John Hsuan (宣明智) and a 14-month jail term for Cheng Tun-chien (鄭敦謙), head of Fortune Venture Capital Corp (宏誠創投), a UMC affiliate, Chen said.

The latest development came after the Taipei Administrative High Court on July 19 overturned a decision by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to impose a NT$5 million (US$152,500) fine on UMC for investing in He Jian without regulatory approval. The ministry then appealed the case to the higher court.

The ministry accused Tsao and other executives of failing to seek government permission for providing technical know-how to He Jian in Suzhou in November 2001.

But the Taipei Administrative High Court said at the time that UMC's relationship with He Jian could not be classified as an investment, as the company provided only technical assistance to the Chinese chipmaker.

There was not sufficient evidence to prove UMC invested in He Jian, the court said.

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