In a case linked to the scandal surrounding former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, the personal secretary of former Citic Pacific chairman Larry Yung Chi-kin has admitted lying in an investigation about the sale of a luxury flat.
Agnes Tai Wai-kuen, 58, pleaded guilty in Eastern Court yesterday to two counts of making false statements to the Independent Commission Against Corruption under oath.
The charges involve HK$7.6 million used to buy the flat at Leighton Hill, Happy Valley, in January 2001. The property was sold in October 2002.
The flat was lived in by Hui, who is accused of receiving about HK$28.8 million in cash, HK$5.4 million in loans and the rent-free use of two luxury flats at Leighton Hill between 2000 and 2009.
In return, Hui allegedly favoured Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen. The three men were arrested in March 2011.
Tai's lawyer, Peter Duncan, said her offences were a result of "misguided loyalty" to Yung, for whom she had worked for 27 years. Tai, also a director and shareholder of E-Sincere Holdings, told the ICAC in 2011 that she paid for the flat when it was bought, but in fact the funds were from Yung.
The ICAC found that 12 cheques for amounts ranging from HK$952,160 to HK$1.2 million were drawn on Yung's bank account and given to Tai from January 2001 to April 2002. Upon completion of the transaction to sell the flat, E-Sincere issued a cheque of HK$5,712,200 to Yung to return almost the entire sub-sale proceeds to him.
In mitigation, Duncan said Tai was a single mother of two children. The offences were "totally out of character for her" and she had shown genuine remorse, he said. She lived with her mother and did not receive any financial benefit. He hoped the court would not impose an immediate jail sentence.
Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai adjourned sentencing to Monday.