Covert recordings in sauna case admissible

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 12:00am

An undercover police officer is expected to resume his testimony today after a judge ruled covert recordings which allegedly contained his illegal discussions with other investigators about his evidence were admissible.

Constable Lam Tsz-hon, who infiltrated Temple Street Sauna to work as a waiter between 2004 and 2005, was the first prosecution witness to give evidence in the trial of nine people accused of taking part in a HK$40 million operation to provide sexual services at saunas.

Deputy District Court Judge Michael Jenkins ruled the audio recordings admissible on Tuesday.

The court heard the recordings were made by a defendant's wife and her friend covertly with MP3 players installed in a witness waiting room outside the court on 47 days between May and September last year. One device was placed under a chair every morning to record conversations.

Constable Lam testified on January 2 that he could not recognise the voices and he was not sure what was being said in the recordings.

Barrister Raymond Yu Chiu-cheuk, acting for Cheung Sai-kit, general manager of Temple Street Sauna, alleged that Constable Lam could have engaged in discussions with his colleagues from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau about his evidence.