Ma Sik-chun, a co-founder of the Oriental Daily News, on Monday lost a bid in a Hong Kong court for revokal of an arrest warrant issued against him more than 30 years ago, the South China Morning Post reported.
Ma, 76, was charged in August 1977 with conspiracy to traffic morphine and opium between 1969 and 1973. He skipped bail and fled to Taiwan by boat in September 1978 while awaiting trial, the report noted.
Ma’s lawyer Gerard McCoy SC today told the court that the case was a very old one and that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute his client, the report said.
The lawyer said Ma – also known as Ma Yik-shing – suffered from heart disease and was in poor health, and that it was his “dying wish” to return to Hong Kong.
Judge Andrew Chan Hing-wai was quoted as saying that the court had to consider the fact that a defendant was still at large when deciding whether to discharge an arrest warrant. He also said that that it was up to the prosecution to determine whether the lapse of time had weakened the evidence.
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