Test case decision reserved
THE Law Lords have reserved their decision in a test case on whether anti-money laundering legislation conflicts with the Bill of Rights.
After hearing four days' argument from Mr Nicholas Bratza, QC, representing the Crown, and Mr Alan Hoo, QC, and Mr Martin Thomas, QC, for the respondents, the Privy Council reserved its decision.
The case has important ramifications for the territory, as banks have almost stopped reporting suspicious transactions following a decision by Mr Justice Gall last August. His move repealed Section 25 of the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance, which made it an offence for anyone to assist a drug trafficker to retain or dispose of drug money and forced banks to assist investigations, as being irreconcilable with the Bill of Rights.