A Hong Kong deputy to China’s highest political advisory body has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Lew Mon-hung, 67, was convicted on charges relating to a 2013 attempt to shut down a fraud investigation into Pearl Oriental Oil Ltd., where he served as deputy chairman.
Lew wrote e-mails to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Simon Peh, commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) seeking an end to the investigation, the court heard.
Judge Frankie Yiu took just three minutes to sum up his ruling after throwing out the defense argument that the ICAC investigation was inappropriate, Apple Daily reports.
Yiu condemned the defendant for using his relationship with Leung, for whom he campaigned in the 2012 chief executive election, to gain advantages for his own benefit.
Yiu said Lew’s choice of words in his e-mails to Leung and Peh which included “an eye for an eye” was an attempt to seek influence by intimidation.
Lew said he will appeal the conviction.
Later, he told reporters “what goes around comes around” when asked if he had any message for Leung.
Accompanied by his brother, girlfriend, two daughters and a few supporters, Lew appeared relaxed as he arrived in court.
Lew was visibly shocked when the verdict was announced.
He broke down saying “history will prove my innocence” and calling the decision a frame-up before being led away from the dock.
Lew was taken to the Lai Chi Kok Reception Center where he underwent a medical examination, according to reports.
He was to serve his sentence immediately in an undisclosed prison.
Yiu said Lew’s actions had damaged the public’s trust in judicial independence and he deserves to be “sent to jail immediately”.
However, Yiu cited Lew’s charity work in mitigation, as well as character references from respected figures in society including former chief executive Donald Tsang.
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