Taiwan High Court handles appeal against will of Evergreen Group founder

Sons of tycoon's first wife refuse to accept verdict in favor of StarLux chairman

Late Evergreen Group founder Chang Yung-fa 

Late Evergreen Group founder Chang Yung-fa  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan High Court on Thursday (Oct. 29) began hearings in the appeal by a son of late Evergreen Group founder Chang Yung-fa (張榮發) against a decision in favor of StarLux Airlines Chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒).

Ever since the elder Chang passed away in 2016, his sons from different wives have been fighting each other for control over his inheritance. The transportation tycoon reportedly wrote a will leaving everything to Chang Kuo-wei, the only son of his second wife.

However, the three children of his first wife took their case to court, arguing the will had not been signed by their father himself, with no two witnesses present, as the law stipulates. Chang Kuo-wei countered them, saying an investigation had shown the tycoon had been qualified to draw up a will and was fully conscious of its content, while experts had concluded the signature was indeed the tycoon’s own handwriting.

The Taipei District Court agreed with the StarLux chairman, but his half-brothers filed an appeal with the Taiwan High Court. Because the matter was a private family affair, Thursday’s court session was closed to the public and the media, UDN reported.

At stake in the court case are NT$53.6 billion (US$1.87 billion) in assets and control over the Evergreen business empire, which includes one of the world’s largest shipping companies and EVA Air, from which Chang Kuo-wei was ousted after the death of his father.