Lawyer claims no knowledge of ex-official in bribery case

May 22, 2019 16:27
Lawyer Peter Ha, a cousin of the ex-husband of Cheyenne Chan (inset, lower), said he did not know what kind of relationship she had with Wilson Fung (inset, upper). Photo: HKEJ/TVB News

A lawyer who took the witness stand in the trial of a bribery case involving former government official Wilson Fung Wing-yip and Macau businesswoman Cheyenne Chan Ung-iok, testified that he did not know the former but only the latter.

Peter Ha Wing-ho, who helped Fung in the purchase of a luxury flat in Mid-Levels in 2004, also said he was not aware whether Chan had put down part of the deposit for the property, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Ha said he had no idea what kind of relationship the two defendants had, The Standard reported.

Fung, 55, who was deputy secretaryfor economic development and labor from 2003 to 2006, was charged with a public servant accepting an advantage and misconduct in public office.

Chan, a sister-in-law of Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun and former director and shareholder of three airline and helicopter companies, was charged with offering an advantage to a public servant.

Fung was accused of having accepted HK$510,000 in September 2004 from Chan and acting in a manner favorable to Chan’s companies over a three-year period between 2004 and 2006.

The amount, the prosecution said on Monday, was paid as part of a deposit on the luxury flat bought by Fung and his wife Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, who currently heads the government’s Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office.

Ha, a cousin of Chan’s ex-husband, told the court on the second day of the hearings on Tuesday that he did not know Fung and his wife, saying he usually paid attention only to the address, price, and additional conditions related to the property as well as liabilities involved in a transaction but rarely paid attention to any change in the name of the buyer on a contract.

Ha also pointed out that signing a contract of nomination in the flat purchase was witnessed by his secretary and he only signed it afterwards.

The lawyer said he asked his secretary to handle subsequent procedures in the transaction, and that he had never met the couple during the entire process.

He only saw the buyer's name change to Betty Fung's name when the formal purchase contract was signed. He said he had given her a fee discount.

Ha also told the court that Chan lost focus in her life and felt frustrated after she found out that her husband then had an extra-marital affair in 2003.

– Contact us at [email protected]