Footballers' 'confessions' admissible

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 February, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 February, 1999, 12:00am

Taped alleged confessions by three soccer players accused of throwing a World Cup qualifier yesterday were ruled admissible as evidence.

Magistrate Robert McNair said there was no evidence to suggest fear, trickery or inducements were used to extract statements from Kevin Lok Kar-win, 25, Chan Chi-keung, 28, and Wai Kwan-lun, 23.

The three deny plotting to throw a World Cup qualifying match against Thailand in 1997.

Lawyers for the trio had applied for the videotaped statements to be ruled as inadmissible because they alleged their clients were induced to make confessions by the ICAC.

Peter Duncan, for Wai, said his client had been presented with 'a haggard and distraught' Chan Tsz-kong, the player at the centre of the allegations, in between police interviews.

He alleged Independent Commission Against Corruption officers had offered inducements to urge his client to make admissions, telling him if he confessed he could continue to play football.

Prosecutor Gramsci Di Fazio said if, as the defence alleged, inducements had been offered, there was a particular lack of inquiry from the defendants as to what they would gain from making admissions.

Mr McNair ruled that he saw no reason to exclude the statements from evidence.

The trial continues.

Meanwhile, a fourth footballer, Lee Wai-man, was cleared of match-fixing allegations last week after the prosecution offered no evidence against him.