Carson Yeung's 'frivolous' bid to move case denied

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 March, 2013, 5:17am

A judge yesterday rejected businessman Carson Yeung Ka-sing's legal challenge over the venue of his upcoming money-laundering trial as "frivolous" and an abuse of process. Yeung, the owner of English football club Birmingham City, is due to stand trial in the District Court on April 29 for alleged money laundering of more than HK$720 million.

He has sought to have the case moved to the High Court for a jury trial.

After the Department of Justice responded in a letter that the District Court remained the proper venue, he sought leave from the Court of First Instance to apply for a judicial review.

Daniel Fung, SC, for Yeung, said the department's letter was "perfunctory" and "insufficient".

Yeung has suggested that the authorities "double-counted" and that the sum in question should be HK$400 million.

But Fung said no matter which total was correct the sums involved were vast.

Calling Yeung's application frivolous, Deputy Judge Alan Wright said: "I am satisfied that the purpose of these proceedings is to attempt to disrupt the forthcoming trial and is an abuse of the process of this court."

He added that there were "clear indicators that this is so".

In his ruling, the judge also took note of a series of delays in the trial, set for 25 days and originally due to start in November last year after a pretrial hearing in December 2011.

Yeung first asked for an earlier date then said this would not be possible.

He then applied for an adjournment, which was not granted but he succeeded on the day the trial was due to start to have it changed to the April date.

Yesterday director of public prosecutions Kevin Zervos said there had been "a degree of procrastination and delay".

A half-hour pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for April 10 in the District Court.