Legal big guns hired for graft trial
Some legal big guns have been hired to lead both the prosecution and defence teams for Hong Kong's biggest ever corruption court trial, which starts today.
And to make room for them, only 15 media organisations have been allowed to send one reporter each into the trial court at the Court of First Instance, on a first-come-first-served basis. A live video feed of proceedings will be screened outside the court for those who cannot get in.
The trial of former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, billionaire brothers and Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, SHKP executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen and former Hong Kong stock exchange official Francis Kwan Hung-sang is scheduled to start at 10am.
The task will fall to David Perry QC to prove to the jury that Hui received HK$34 million in bribes and other financial inducements from the Kwoks.
Corporate-crime specialist Louis Mably from Britain, senior public prosecutor Winnie Ho Wai-man, senior counsel Joseph Tse Wah-yuen and junior counsel Maggie Wong form the rest of the prosecution team.
On the defence side, all defendants except Hui and Kwan have hired a Queen's Counsel or senior counsel as their representatives.
Thomas Kwok will be represented by Clare Montgomery QC, a former deputy High Court judge in England and a specialist in fraud cases.
John Kelsey-Fry QC will represent Raymond Kwok. With 34 years of experience, Kelsey-Fry is considered a star QC who specialises in fraud and conspiracy law.
Raymond Kwok has also hired local barrister Gerard McCoy SC, formerly a deputy judge of the Hong Kong High Court.
Hui will be represented by Edwin Choy Wai-bond, formerly a deputy judge of the District Court.