Family seeks Beijing's help in Saudi murder

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2012, 12:00am


The family of a local engineer who was murdered in Saudi Arabia last year hope to secure Beijing's assistance after getting little from Hong Kong's government.

Relatives of Francis Leung Kar-keung are looking this week to meet Lu Xinhua, the city's outgoing commissioner of the mainland's foreign ministry.

They want Lu to urge Beijing to pressure the Saudi authorities to delay the trial of Leung's alleged killer.

In 2009, Leung moved to Saudi Arabia to work as a senior signal systems manager on a railway project - led by China Railway Construction Corporation - in the city of Mecca.

On March 10 last year, his family was told that his body - containing multiple knife wounds to the neck and shoulders - had been found stuffed under a kitchen sink.

They became sceptical when they learnt that a security guard weighing only 45.5kg had been arrested for allegedly killing Leung, who weighed more than 82kg.

Hearings began earlier this month, but the family has yet to find a lawyer to represent them.

Lawyers whom the family contacted urged them to settle for 'blood money' - a practice in which the culprit pays the victim's family in exchange for dropping their lawsuit.

And even though the family met the undersecretary for security, Lai Tung-kwok, and officers from the Immigration Department last October, the government had been 'far from helpful' despite Lai's promise to contact the Chinese mission in Saudi Arabia, said lawmaker James To Kun-sun, who is helping the family.

In addition, Leung's employer, Hsin Chong Construction Group, has refused to pay the legal fees.

The family also tried to meet security secretary Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong without success, said To. The Democratic Party legislator believes the case may not be a simple case of murder, given China Railway Construction's reluctance to be involved, 'which is unusual for any company whose employee is murdered'.

Beijing must step in to provide assistance to Leung's family for the trial to show that it will help Chinese nationals abroad, To said.

'Why doesn't our government seem to care about its national killed abroad?' To said yesterday. 'Is it under any pressure not to take action? These are some of the questions we have to find answers to.'