Hung is denied appeal on bribery conviction

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 July, 2010, 12:00am

Former Wheelock chairman John Hung yesterday was refused permission to appeal against his conviction for taking a bribe to help a membership application to the Jockey Club.

Hung (pictured) applied for leave to appeal at the Court of Appeal, but the court turned it down. It will give its reasons for the decision later.

The former voting member of the club was jailed for two years last June after being convicted on one count of soliciting an advantage and three of accepting an advantage for taking HK$450,000 in exchange for helping a racing member gain full membership, which has more privileges.

The court had heard that Hung took money from middleman Joseph Loong Shun-ming, as a reward for helping racing member Joanne Wong Pui.

Hung's barrister, Kevin Egan, said Loong and Wong, who were important in the case, did not give evidence. 'We didn't have any eyewitnesses. All we had was a theory,' he said.

No direct evidence of Hung's guilt had been presented at trial, he said.

Of some of the prosecution's case at trial, he said: 'None of this was incriminating. None of this was indicative of guilt if one keeps an open mind.'

But deputy director of prosecutions Kevin Zervos said the case had been based on things Hung had said.

Hung's application was heard yesterday after he made a successful application to exclude members from hearing his case in May.

His barrister, Barry Barlow SC, had successfully argued that a judge who was a member of the Jockey Club should not sit in the case.

Hung had earlier claimed in court that the money from Loong had been a loan and that he had accepted it as he needed more than HK$2 million for his son's studies in Australia and his daughter's wedding.

The trial judge had ordered that Hung pay the club HK$350,000 in compensation in addition to serving his sentence.

The application was before Madam Justice Susan Kwan Shuk-ying, Mr Justice Alan Wright, and Mr Justice Peter Line.