Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 12:00am


Nancy Kissel murder case may yet rise from the dead

There is speculation in legal circles that Nancy Kissel, Hong Kong's notorious 'milkshake murderess', may be preparing to seek leave to appeal against her conviction for murder.

The long-running and gruesome saga appeared to have run its course when Kissel's lawyer said that his client would not be appealing following her conviction at a retrial last March for murdering her Merrill Lynch banker husband in 2003. She had applied to serve out her sentence in the United Statese, as she is a US citizen. Those making an application to serve out a sentence in another jurisdiction are required to indicate they are not going to appeal. However, a few weeks ago Kissel withdrew her application for transfer, prompting speculation that she wanted to appeal.

It's not clear at this stage what her possible grounds of appeal might be, or if she will be granted leave to appeal. Normally after sentencing there are 28 days to file grounds of appeal. Kissel would have to make what's called 'an appeal out of time'. This will not go down well in the Department of Justice, which has already spent tens of millions of dollars on various Kissel trials and appeals.

It had to pay half the legal costs for the first trial, one third for the first appeal and all the costs for the second appeal. The Department of Justice exceeded its HK$89.4 million budget for criminal cases last year and had to ask the Legislative Council for a further HK$86.6 million to meet its court costs.

Burning issue on the march

Opponents of the government's plans to build what will be one of the largest incinerators in the world at a local beauty spot - the island of Shek Kwu Chau off Lantau - have given up trying to reason with the Environmental Protection Department and have decided to take to the streets.

They are organising a protest march on Sunday March 18 from Pier 6 in Central to the government headquarters. A poster advertising the march says: 'Outdated technology causes air pollution and health risks to all Hong Kong residents and visitors. Permanent environmental damage in area of natural beauty. Careless use of public money and inadequate public consultation. Asia's world city deserves a more intelligent solution for dealing with its rubbish.'

The government, however, appears intent on railroading the project through, despite evidence of better available technology and increasing concerns over emissions from the method the environment department proposes to use.

Letting off some self-esteem

Without wishing to put a damper on Social Media Week, which is currently being celebrated in Hong Kong and 11 other cities around the world, we feel we should draw attention to the man who fired several bullets through his daughter's laptop after she ranted on Facebook about being a slave to household chores.

Possibly more interesting than his tough-love approach to parenting has been the astonishing public response. The shooting was captured on an eight-minute video and this has been viewed more than 22 million times. Every statement he makes on his Facebook page attracts hundreds, sometimes thousands, of comments.

Unsurprisingly, reaction has been mixed, with many parents applauding him for doing what they wish they could do, while others fret his action might be giving his daughter 'self-esteem issues'.

CBS has offered him a TV show, he's turned down numerous requests to run for president, and has declined to be interviewed. His message is that today's youth are, 'self entitled, averse to working and basically have no usable skills taught to them in schools'.

He adds: 'If you're so disrespectful to your parents and yourself as to post this kind of thing on Facebook, you're deserving of some tough love.'

Something for Social Media Week to wrestle with, perhaps?

PepsiCo steers clear of pulp fiction

Everyone's heard of the food company that quietly changed its packaging to reduce the contents and avoid hiking prices. The result was the same, but companies have been wary of incensing consumers amid the soaring food prices of recent years. Now, PepsiCo is being refreshingly frank about its plans to increase margins - by watering down its product.

Some consumers prefer orange juice that's less thick. Others want juice with the 'goodness' of oranges and fewer calories, said PepsiCo Global Beverages chief Massimo D'Amore.

'They themselves add water before drinking OJ,' he added. 'So why not add the water ourselves and charge for it?'