Killers guilty in trial without body

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 May, 1998, 12:00am

Three men who strangled a loanshark and sawed his body into pieces that were never found were convicted of murder yesterday.

It is believed to be the first time in Hong Kong that guilty verdicts were returned in a murder trial without a body.

In the Court of First Instance, Wong Wai-man, 26, Hau King-yeung, 21, and Lee Kar-yeung, 17, were all convicted of murder. Cheung Chung-hung, 24, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

The dismembered body of loanshark Ma Chun-mo, 24, was dumped in rubbish at a Tai Po housing estate. It was later compressed by refuse workers and buried at a landfill site. He has been missing since December 17, 1996.

During the trial the court heard Wong and Hau instigated the killing because they could not afford to repay Ma $130,000 they owed him.

Madam Justice Clare-Marie Beeson will sentence the men later.