Lai See
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 April, 2013, 5:33am

Director of Public Prosecutions to retire around August

BIO

Howard Winn has been with the South China Morning Post for two and half years after previous stints as business editor and deputy editor of The Standard, and business editor of Asia Times. His writing has also been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He writes the Lai See column which focuses on the lighter side of business.
 

We gather that Kevin Zervos will be retiring from his position as director of public prosecutions around July or August. He resigned in November last year but it was unclear as to exactly when he would leave. He told Lai See: "I've got to make a move before I reach the retirement age to settle into a career that I can pursue because I don't want to stop working."

There has been considerable speculation that he wants to become a judge, but he said he hadn't decided what he intended to do. There has also been speculation as to who will succeed him as DPP. In the past we have mentioned various names such as former deputy DPP Robert Lee Shiu-keung; Robert Pang Yiu-hung SC, who is with Bernacchi Chambers; Eric Kwok Tung-ming SC, who is with Plowman Chambers; and Joseph Tse Wah-yuen, who is with Denis Chang's Chambers. We have recently heard of another senior counsel who is considered a front runner: Keith K.H. Yeung who is with Plowman Chambers.

 

Why Nancy Kissel is appealing

We recently reported that Nancy Kissel had been granted leave to appeal against the verdict of her second trial and that it would be heard in October.

We understand that the main thrust of her appeal is that at the time of her second trial she was traumatised and didn't have the focus or mental state to appreciate what was going on. In other words she didn't receive a fair trial because she was traumatised by what she had gone through and didn't appreciate the issues that were being presented to her.

She admitted in court to incapacitating her husband - an investment banker - with a drug-laced strawberry milkshake before bludgeoning him to death with a lead ornament in November 2003. Her trial ran from January to September 2005. After two appeals, the Court of Final Appeal concluded in February 2010 that the verdict was unsound. She was found guilty after the retrial, which ran from January to March in 2011. She sought to leave to appeal in February last year after withdrawing her application to serve her jail time in the US.

 

What is art?

Economic uncertainty has led investors to shift their focus from financial assets to arts and collectibles. This, in turn, has led to the emergence of "a new type of global professional services in art and finance". That's according to the second annual "Art & Finance Report 2013" published by Deloitte Luxembourg with ArtTactic. "This is a trend the private wealth management industry cannot ignore, considering clients are sitting on an estimated US$4 trillion of assets," says Adriano Picinati di Torcello, art and finance practice director at Deloitte Luxembourg. Obviously Deloitte is not ignoring the trend either. It has an interest in what it calls an emerging trend. It has invested in the report - which has discerned this trend, and also has provides the advisory art investment services. It has even developed the Deloitte ArtTactic & Finance Confidence Indicator. This is an indicator of confidence over the next 12 months among wealth managers in the art and finance industry. This tells us that 60 per cent of wealth managers surveyed believe the industry will see stronger demand in the future. Hmmm - art is a funny business.

 

Auditing drink driving

We see that the director of audit has turned his beady eye in the direction of the police and the way it conducts random breathalyser tests. In its latest report, released yesterday, it notes that 24 per cent of drink-driving accidents occur between 6am and 6pm, and 74 per cent occur at night between 6pm and 6am. However, 42 per cent of random breathalyser tests were conducted during the day. The police said this was partly to serve as a deterrent but mainly because most police work occurred between 6am-11pm, which meant that it didn't have the resources to do extensive breathalyser tests at night. The director of audit felt that it would be a better use of limited resources if more tests were done on a "risk-based" approach, which presumably means at night. Daytime tests yielded an arrest rate of 0.11 per cent while night-time testing produced an arrest rate of 0.74 per cent. That said, since the introduction of the new breath-test regulations in 2009 the number of drink-driving accidents is down by 70 per cent.

 

Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to howard.winn@scmp.com

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