The two had each previously been sentenced to six-months in prison by the district court.
According to the allegations, the Carnegie employee had informed the other man charged in the case, an acquaintance, of the biotech company Biacore's upcoming public offering. The acquaintance earned nearly 700,000 kronor from selling stock in the company.
But the appeals court thought otherwise.
“In the judgment the Court of Appeals finds that it does not stand beyond a reasonable doubt that both of those accused are guilty of insider trading,” wrote the court in a press release.
The district court’s judgment in the case had been appealed by both prosecutor Robert Engstedt of the Economic Crimes Bureau (EBM), who sought a stiffer penalty, and the attorneys defending both men, who claimed the amount of evidence was too low to justify the conviction.
The appeals court found that that the acquaintance purchased stock in Biacore shortly before the public offering, that he sold other stock to finance the purchase, and that he was “obviously anxious to purchase a large amount of Biacore stock.”
According to the court, it was also clear that both of the accused had been good friends for many years and that they had contact with one another prior to the offering.
However, the Court of Appeals found "that circumstances do not unambiguously demonstrate that the purchase of the Biacore stock was based on inside information or that any such information was released by the Carnegie employee, and that another conceivable course of events can be excluded."