I heard tapes of ICAC officers later, lawyer told court

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2011, 12:00am

A lawyer who asked a witness in a fraud case to tape anti-corruption investigators allegedly coaching him how to testify said she did not listen to the recordings until after her client was arrested.

Virginia Szeto, acting for former warrants trader Cheung Ching-ho, told the District Court of meetings with her client and how he gave her notes and tape recordings of his meetings with ICAC officers up until the moment when he refused to testify against his former boss Raymond Ng Chun-to and was arrested.

Cheung was among five people arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in 2008 for trying to manipulate the derivatives market and laundering more than HK$100 million generated by the alleged racket.

Cheung, 39, was originally offered immunity from prosecution, but later refused to testify against Ng, the alleged scam mastermind. Cheung was then charged with conspiracy to defraud.

Cheung later accused three ICAC officers of coaching him as a witness. His lawyers are trying to get the proceedings stayed on the grounds that he would not get a fair trial.

The three ICAC officers Ben Chan Kai-hung, 36, Kevin Cho Wing-nin, 46, and Au Kim-fung, 42, have been charged with perverting the course of justice and misconduct.

The court heard yesterday that Szeto first met Cheung in March 20, 2009. She first received notes from him on September 9. The notes were of his meeting with ICAC officers on August 27, 2009. The first tape recordings of the officers were made on November 23, 2009.

'I used a new USB flash drive to copy the content. I didn't listen to the data. I listened to it in May 2010.' She received the second recording on December 3, the court heard, also listening to it in May 2010.

Cheung earlier presented the court with six hours of audio tapes in which he secretly recorded his meetings with the three ICAC officers.

Szeto said Cheung gave her a prepared mobile phone card on December 4 and refused to testify under immunity on December 7.

Szeto told the court that Cheung then gave her a SIM card on December 8 before he was arrested by the ICAC in a car park after the they left the court.

Szeto said she discovered in May last year that she had lost the SIM card during renovations at her office.