Joseph Lau 'shocked' by publication of medical report in Apple Daily

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 May, 2013, 8:47am

Billionaire property tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung was "utterly shocked" to see his medical report in a Chinese newspaper and plans to lodge a complaint with the privacy commissioner.

Lau will also take the matter to the local High Court and wants authorities in Macau to look into the "suspected leakage" of his report, according to a half-page statement by the Chinese Estates Holdings chairman that is printed in several Chinese- and English-language newspapers today.

It came after he again failed to appear at his bribery trial in Macau's Court of First Instance on April 29. His lawyer submitted a doctor's certificate to the court, saying he was not fit to stand trial due to illness. The nature of his complaint was not disclosed but was understood to be diabetes.

Lau and Steven Lo Kit-sing are charged with offering a HK$20 million bribe to Macau's former public works chief, Ao Man-long, in 2005. Ao was jailed for 29 years in May last year. The case, scheduled for September last year, has been adjourned three times.

In the statement, Lau alleges a medical report printed in Apple Daily last week was not the certificate he submitted to a Macau court and its publication was "a blatant and malicious act committed in clear violation of legal rights to protect my privacy".

He said his health problems now were different from those in the published medical report, which he says was issued by Dr Tai Yau-ting on April 10, 2008, marked confidential and had been submitted as part of the investigation documents. The date was obscured in the newspaper.

Lau alleges "somebody had deliberately obliterated and concealed the date before publication" and it was "very possible" that readers could be misled.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Paulo Chan said last week that the certificate submitted was exactly the same as the one given on January 7 and it was an unacceptable reason for his absence. Apple Daily chief editor Cheung Kim-hung did not reply to a request for comment by press time.