Pressing questions slow inquest

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 September, 2009, 12:00am

An inquest into the death of a Nepali man involved in a shooting incident ended its first week yesterday, with only two witnesses called so far because of issues raised by the lawyer representing the widow, closed-door discussions and pressing questions, such as how to reposition files, furniture and the jury.

The Coroner's Court, which is investigating the cause of death of Dil Bahadur Limbu, 30, is yet to hear from the officer who opened fire in the incident, Constable Hui Ka-ki. The constable, one of the most anticipated and key witnesses, is scheduled to give evidence next.

Nigel Kat, representing Limbu's widow Sony Rai, has frequently been on his feet during the past five days, calling into question various issues that cannot be reported because they were heard without a jury.

Kat, deputy director of prosecutions Arthur Luk Yee-shun, and the lawyers representing the Commissioner of Police and Hui - Edward Shum and Samson Hung Kin-man - have spent many hours on these discussions.

The inquest has so far heard four witness statements and called two witnesses: Senior Constable Tsang Wai-man, who received a complaint about a suspected street sleeper on a Ho Man Tin hillside, and Sergeant Kwok Tak-kwan, who sent Hui to investigate the complaint. With 20 of the scheduled 25 days of hearings remaining, the court has 44 witnesses to go.

Yesterday, Coroner William Ng Sing-wai asked lawyers to figure out how to reposition the files on their desk and how to move a threedimensional model of the scene so the jury could have an unobstructed view of the witness stand. They adjourned for the lawyers to move the model and a table.

The inquest heard a suggestion to move to another court altogether, but Ng said other courtrooms did not have the same layout as the Coroner's Court.