Trio deny ICAC coached them before trial

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 March, 2011, 12:00am

Three people arrested in connection with a derivatives market manipulation racket say were not coached by graft-busters before they testified in court.

The trio was giving evidence yesterday at the trial of former warrants trader Cheung Ching-ho, who claims ICAC officers coached him to give false evidence after he agreed to testify for the prosecution under immunity. Cheung, 39, later changed his mind and was charged with conspiracy to defraud.

He is one of five people arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in 2008 in connection with the racket, in which warrants trader and scam mastermind Raymond Ng Chun-to was convicted last year.

Cheung's lawyers are trying to get the proceedings stayed on the grounds that he will not get a fair trial.

One of the trio, Lee Wai-tung, told the District Court he was not coached on how to give answers in videotape interviews with the ICAC officers during a 40-hour detention after his arrest on May 28, 2008.

The court heard that Lee was worried about being prosecuted before testifying as he was not provided with a letter of immunity.

He said he received HK$1 million from the warrants scam and was worried it would be taken away from him. 'If I testified, I thought that they will allow me to keep the assets,' he said.

Mak Kai-tong said he had arranged to testify for the prosecution in Ng's trial, but was not called in the end. 'So far, I have not been given a letter of immunity.'

He said he was not coached by the ICAC on how to give answers in the video interviews after his arrest.

He said that in July last year he took part voluntarily in the police's investigation of Cheung and was not taught by anyone how to provide answers to the police.

Lee Wai-ming, elder brother of Lee Wai-tung, said the ICAC conducted video interviews with him after his arrest in 2008 and he was not coached on how to give answers.

He also joined the police investigation against Cheung voluntarily, the court heard. He said he was not coached by anyone how to give information to the police.

The trial continues.