A formidable array of legal luminaries will pit skills and experience against each other in one of Hong Kong’s biggest corruption cases when the trial of former chief secretary Rafael Hui and the heads of the city’s leading property developer starts Thursday.
Hui, along with four other defendants, will appear before Justice Andrew Macrae of the High Court, and because of the huge teams put up by the defense and prosecution, only 15 media organizations will be allowed inside the court, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday. Other members of the media as well as the public can watch a live broadcast of the trial outside the court.
Aside from Hui, the other defendants are the brothers Thomas Kwok and Raymond Kwok, co-chairmen of Sung Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (SHKP, 00016.HK), SHKP executive director Thomas Chan and former senior vice-president of the Hong Kong and Exchanges Clearing Ltd. (00388.HK) Francis Kwan.
They are charged with eight counts of misconduct in public office, providing false information and conspiracy to offer advantages to a public servant.
David Perry QC, lead prosecutor in the conviction of Nancy Kissel in the “milkshake murder” case at her retrial, will lead the prosecution team, which also includes corporate-crime specialist Louis Mably from Britain, senior public prosecutor Winnie Ho, senior counsel Joseph Tse Wah-yuen and junior counsel Maggie Wong.
The defense will be represented by Clare Montgomery QC, a former deputy High Court judge in England and a specialist in fraud cases; barrister Gerard McCoy, SC, a former deputy judge of the Hong Kong High Court; John Kelsey-Fry, QC, who specialises in fraud and conspiracy laws; and Edwin Choy Wai-bond, a former deputy judge of the District Court.
During the preliminary hearings, the court heard that Hui received various benefits, including cash amounting to HK$28 million, an unsecured loan of HK$5.4 million, and free accommodation at luxury flats, in return for favors for the listed company.
Judge Macrae has heard many high-profile cases, including the case of fung shui master Peter Chan in the forgery of tycoon Nina Wang’s last will and testament.
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