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ASE, four employees found not guilty of polluting charges

ASE, four employees found not guilty of polluting charges

Taipei, Sept. 29 (CNA) The Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Court on Tuesday found Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE,???) and four of its employees not guilty of releasing untreated industrial wastewater into the environment, reversing a lower court decision. A panel of Kaohsiung High Court judges ruled that the wastewater of ASE's K7 plant was treated at wastewater processing facilities before being released through pipes or ditches, meaning it could not be defined as hazardous industrial waste. As a result, ASE should not be punished because it did not arbitrarily dispose of "hazardous waste," which is prohibited by the the Waste Disposal Act, when it discharged the wastewater, the judges said. The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office, which has handled the prosecution of ASE and its employees, said it will decide whether or not to appeal the ruling after it receives the verdict in writing. Tuesday's ruling overturned a district court's decision on Oct. 20, 2014 to impose the maximum NT$3 million (US$90,600) fine on ASE, the world's biggest electronic chip packager, as stipulated by Article 46 of the Waste Disposal Act. The district court also gave Su Ping-shou (???), the head of ASE's K7 plant in Kaohsiung, a 16-month suspended sentence for violating the Waste Disposal Act and placed him on a four-year probation. The plant's wastewater department director Tsai Chi-hsun (???) and two engineers, Liu Wei-cheng (???) and Yu Chih-hsien (???), were given suspended sentences ranging from 18 to 22 months by the district court. In December 2013, ASE's K7 plant was ordered to shut down part of its production after it was found to have pumped untreated waste water into a nearby irrigation ditch. The factory resumed operations in December 2014 after it passed checks by local environmental protection authorities. The K7 plant employs 5,000 workers and is part of a complex in Kaohsiung's Nanzih industrial district. (By Cheng Chi-feng and Jeffrey Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-23 13:28 GMT+08:00