A man who runs a car repair and trading firm walked free from court Monday after a police officer jailed for taking bribes from him refused to testify at his trial, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
Judge David Dufton decided to dismiss all the five charges against Cheng Kai-tung, 35, after the prosecutor told the court that Constable Cheng Chi-yuen, 36, who had pledged to give evidence against the defendant, had changed his mind.
Cheng Kai-tung was charged with offering an advantage to a civil servant and four counts of aiding and abetting others to obtain access to a computer with dishonest intent.
Police investigations found that in 2012 and 2013, the constable helped Cheng retrieve personal data of five people from the government’s computer database so that the businessman could collect debts from them.
The police officer received free car repair service worth HK$10,000 (US$1,290) in exchange.
He was arrested in 2013 and pleaded guilty to bribery.
The constable was sentenced in March this year to 14 months in prison, the judge having discounted the length of his jail term by 40 percent for his willingness to assist the court.
After the police officer was let out of prison on Nov. 8, he refused to testify against the defendant Monday on the grounds that he wants to have a peaceful life.
The report cited unnamed sources as saying the constable has been suspended from duty and will face a disciplinary inquiry.
The prosecutor suggested the judge punish the police officer for contempt of court and send him back to jail, but Dufton said it is the Department of Justice that should make an application for that.
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