COURTS
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Carson Yeung

Court rejects Carson Yeung's bid to ditch reports

Judge rules that expert opinions on Carson Yeung's accounts are 'relevant and necessary'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 May, 2013, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Birmingham City football club boss Carson Yeung Ka-sing has asked a judge to let him sit outside the dock while the court hears evidence in his HK$721 million money-laundering trial.

Defence counsel Graham Harris SC said in the District Court that it would be difficult for Yeung to follow all the information from the dock and asked that he be allowed to sit near his lawyers so that he could give instructions on specific points.

Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong did not rule on that application yesterday. But he did reject an attempt by Harris to throw out the prosecution's expert reports as irrelevant and prejudicial.

The trial proceeded yesterday after the court last week dismissed Yeung's application for a permanent stay of his case.

But Yau adjourned it until tomorrow to give prosecutors time to study a supplementary experts' report submitted by the defence on Monday.

Harris submitted yesterday that reports by the prosecution's forensic accountant were irrelevant, unnecessary and carried prejudicial effect that outweighed their value as evidence.

"The relevant issue in this case is to be assessed from the view of a 'reasonable man', not the view of a specialist or a person equipped with expert knowledge," Harris argued.

The five counts of money laundering Yeung faced required proof that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the funds he dealt with represented the proceeds of an indictable offence.

Harris said the reports were unnecessary because the expert, Roderick Sutton, had merely added up the figures and summarised the transactions in Yeung's five accounts.

He also said that the report "made serious prejudicial allegations of so called hallmarks of money laundering against the defendant".

But prosecutor John Reading SC said his reports were just aimed at helping the judge reach his own decision whether Yeung was guilty or not.

Yau rejected Harris' submission, saying the reports were relevant and necessary.

He said he would remind himself to ignore the prejudicial effect when making his own judgment.

Adjourning the case, Yau said he was not happy with the sudden submission of an "unwelcome" subsidiary report by the defence.

Reading said his expert Sutton would need three weeks to go through the additional 124-page report.

Apologising, Harris said his side had been having difficulty as resources were limited by a court order to freeze Yeung's assets.