Former lawmaker Chim Pui-chung chastises judge
The Angry Man from Chiu Chow snaps at judge who interrupts to calm him down during Carson Yeung’s money-laundering trial
Former lawmaker Chim Pui-chung yesterday told a judge to "speak gently" when he was stopped mid-flow on account of his temper during questioning in a forgery case.
Chim was appearing as a defence witness in Birmingham Football Club boss Carson Yeung Ka-sing's money-laundering trial.
His response got more heated when prosecutor John Reading SC asked Chim, also known as the Angry Man from Chiu Chow, about the payment of stamp duty for a share transaction related to the case.
In 1998, Chim was sentenced to three years' jail, reduced to 12 months on appeal, for plotting to forge share-transfer documents.
"I think the questions relating to this matter are irrelevant," he said yesterday. "He intends to show my evidence is not credible."
Yeung is accused of knowingly dealing in ill-gotten gains involving HK$721 million and five bank accounts from January 2001 to December 2007.
Chim said: "Although I was unfairly convicted by the government, I managed to be a legislative councillor for eight years.
"It shows my credibility is more than that of the government."
The District Court's Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong intervened when Chim raised his voice.
Chim snapped back, telling Yau to "speak gently" to him.
"I have to control the witness. I have to run the case properly," Yau said. "You have lost your temper ... so I have to step in."
Yau also reminded Chim not to take the prosecution's questions personally.
The court heard Chim's second son sold 250 million shares of Kanstar Environmental Paper Products, now known as Polyard Petroleum International Group, for 10 cents a share to Yeung in an off-market deal.
The market price at the time was 43 cents.
When Reading asked him why his son sold the shares at such a low price, he said: "It was a commercial decision."
Chim added that if there were no big speculators, such a large quantity of shares could not be sold.
When defence lawyer Graham Harris SC put it to him that Yeung might have operated more than 40 securities-trading accounts, Chim said: "This is normal for a big speculator who often trades in and out of shares in such a manner."
Before Chim left the witness box, he reminded the press to report the off-market transaction fairly, saying he was not serving any particular party by giving evidence in court.
Yau said he had no intention of telling journalists what to report, adding that "this is what we call freedom of the press".
The trial continues today.