Carson Yeung shuttles between hospital and trial
After judge's ultimatum, businessman attends hearing but declines to take the stand
Birmingham City soccer club owner Carson Yeung Ka-sing yesterday told the court how he managed to attend his trial on money-laundering charges despite being in the hospital the night before.
The trial also took a twist when Yeung decided not to take the stand and his defence rested. The trial has been adjourned and the defence and prosecution will make final submission when it resumes in October.
The trial, now in its 38th day, was initially slated to last 25 days.
The District Court heard yesterday that Yeung had originally scheduled two procedures - a colonoscopy and gastroscopy - yesterday morning, but he postponed them until today to accommodate the court hearing.
He was discharged from the private Canossa Hospital (Caritas) on The Peak at 5am yesterday to attend the trial and was readmitted to hospital at 6pm.
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 with five bank accounts from 2001 to 2007. He has denied all the charges.
On Thursday morning, defence lawyer Graham Harris SC said his client was in discomfort owing to a cardiac condition and needed to be treated in hospital.
Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong challenged whether Yeung was truly ill.
Yau asked him to return to court for the afternoon session, but Yeung did not. His lawyers said he had to undergo a complete medical check-up.
The judge expressed his concern at what he said were unnecessary delays in the case, telling Yeung's legal team that unless their client was either in a coma or intensive care, he should be in court yesterday.
Yau ordered Yeung to report to the police station once a week, although prosecutor John Reading SC said the defendant could abscond and police would not know until too late.
Reading has suggested Yeung should report to the police three times a week.
Relatively unknown before his emergence on the English soccer scene, Yeung took control of Birmingham City FC in 2008 in a HK$237 million takeover.
The prosecution says Yeung and his father once reported no earnings for four or five years, but their income suddenly shot up to HK$721 million across seven years.