Former SSAC chairman will not be prosecuted

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 - Page 3

Prosecutors have decided not to pursue charges of corruption, misappropriation and breach of trust against a former chairman of the US-based Sino Swearingen Aircraft Corp (SSAC), a joint venture in which the government holds a stake of more than 90 percent.

The case was dropped — after five years of investigation — because of a lack of reasonable suspicion, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) said in a statement yesterday.

The investigation into the actions of Kuo Ching-chiang (郭清江) was launched in 2008 after media reports that SSAC had gone from a net worth of nearly US$300 million to a deficit of US$60 million within two years of Kuo’s appointment as chairman in 2005.

The company’s financial situation raised suspicions that it had been hollowed out.

The SID said corruption charges cannot be applied in this case because SSAC is engaged in private business activities and Kuo was not a civil servant.

There was also no evidence of breach of trust involving Kuo because he was not responsible for handling company procurement, nor was there any evidence of misappropriation of assets.