Lew Mon-hung's lawyers say his letter, e-mails leaked by Barry Cheung

Lawyer accuses C.Y. ally Barry Cheung during Lew Mon-hung's trial

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 4:39am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 6:10am

Former executive councillor Barry Cheung Chun-yuen leaked threatening e-mails and a letter allegedly sent by businessman Lew Mon-hung to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the head of the anti-graft body, a court heard yesterday.

Lawyer Graham Harris SC, for Lew, said the defence "had it on good authority" that Cheung, a close associate of Leung, "was the person responsible for leaking the e-mail to the press".

He was speaking in the District Court, which is hearing Lew's application for a stay of proceedings in his trial for perverting public justice.

Harris said Lew was not fairly treated and that Leung had withheld material evidence - a letter from Lew to him on January 29 - from the prosecution.

District Judge Poon Siu-tung will give his ruling on Tuesday.

Lew, former deputy chairman and executive director of Pearl Oriental Oil, is accused of sending two e-mails and a letter to Leung and the head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Simon Peh Yun-lu, in an attempt to get them to halt an ICAC investigation against him or others because of his past association with Leung. He denies the charge.

Harris said that in January Lew had received a letter from Leung, the contents of which he did not disclose.

He said Lew had replied to the letter on January 29, voicing his concern and suspicion that Cheung was the informer after the press reported the existence of the alleged threats a few days earlier.

Lew had also stated that he welcomed the ICAC's investigation into an alleged conspiracy to defraud shareholders in his company - over which he has since been charged - because he believed he was innocent and would not accept a political prosecution.

Prosecutor Simon Tam Man-fai SC said he was surprised that the letter was supplied by the defence.

"If the content of this letter is true, it appears that [Lew] is now admitting that he has sent the e-mails and letter to the chief executive," Tam said.

The defence submitted that in not disclosing the letter to the prosecution, Leung in effect had "concealed or the very least failed to disclose" evidence relevant to the case.

The defence also complained that Leung and Peh were not listed as witnesses in the perversion of justice case, saying they were "answerable to the court and the public for any conduct under scrutiny".

Asked by the judge if the defence would summon Leung and Peh, Harris said it was "a completely unrealistic proposition".