Judge denies Yeung bid for inquiry
The court is not an investigative body and the probe would also be a waste of time, says judge
A judge yesterday refused Birmingham City soccer club boss Carson Yeung Ka-sing's application to inquire into the non-compliance with court orders involved in his money laundering trial.
Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong said the inquiry would "result in futility and a waste of time".
Defence lawyer Graham Harris SC had made the request to call representatives of securities firms and police officers to explain the execution of various production orders issued by the High Court.
Those court orders required the firms to deliver or make the documents available to police investigators within a specified time. "The court is not an investigative body and the judge should not be tasked with investigating a case," Yau said. The judge added that the court had to ensure witnesses did not expose themselves to the risk of self-incrimination, given their legal privilege.
"Even if the witness chooses to confess there and then in the witness box, what difference would that make to the case?" Yau said. "I would say none."
Harris had said that the defence did not accept the prosecution's claims that there had been full compliance with the orders and said the defence was handicapped by missing documents and witnesses.
Prosecutor John Reading SC replied that the allegations were "very general and disturbing".
Yeung, a 52-year-old barber turned businessman faces five charges of knowingly dealing with ill-gotten gains. His alleged crimes involved gains of HK$721 million from 2001 to 2007.
Meanwhile, forensic accountant Mark Pulvirenti was called by the defence to shed light on the money flow into and out of Yeung's bank accounts. He said that impresario Abba Chan Tat-chee deposited HK$2 million into Yeung's account, as he was involved in funding a movie.
The trial continues today.