Rafael Hui declared fruit but not bribes in his official declarations, court told

Prosecutor says Rafael Hui's declarations of official gifts included festive delicacies and fruit, but not a trace of massive bribes

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 June, 2014, 11:00pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 June, 2014, 8:54am

Pakistani mangoes, mid-autumn mooncakes and fruit baskets were among the treats Rafael Hui Si-yan received – and declared – as an official, an awareness the prosecution pitted against his concealment of the alleged multimillion-dollar bribes.

Nowhere in his declaration forms from when he was chief secretary from 2005 to 2007 and an executive councillor until 2009 listed the HK$8.5 million and HK$11.18 million allegedly paid to Hui in 2005 and 2007, the Court of First Instance was told yesterday.

“You [jurors] will look through these documents in vain to find a declaration in relation to the payments ... He didn’t declare anything that he should have declared,” head prosecutor David Perry QC said in the second day of the corruption trial that also involves Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen.

Perry said Hui – an “experienced and sophisticated individual” in the government – mentioned mangoes given by the Pakistani government, a fruit basket, a portrait, a stamp and mooncakes in the declaration forms. “Do you think anyone is interested that he received mooncakes when he [also] received HK$8.5 million?” Perry asked.

Hui also allegedly failed to disclose the sums in question when he attended the weekly Executive Council meetings. Citing “secret and confidential” Exco minutes, Perry pointed out that Hui repeatedly made disclosures on issues in which he might have had a conflict of interest.

For example, he made known to fellow Exco members he was a voting member and honourary steward of the Jockey Club when the council was discussing plans to reform the betting levy system.

Perry also presented the jury with press material in which Hui told journalists not long after he became chief secretary that – despite his earlier role as a SHKP consultant – his role overseeing the West Kowloon cultural district project would not involve a conflict of interest.

But Perry contradicted his claim, referring to Raymond Kwok’s statement to the prosecution chief that praised Hui’s “excellent performance” as a consultant that included advice on the West Kowloon project.

The prosecutor also described the “controversial” project as “the most pressing” one being handled by the government and “a burning issue” in SHKP, so Hui would “inevitably” be consulted on the matter. Hui as chief secretary had also met Thomas Kwok to discuss a delay in the Ma Wan residential development.

The two – supposedly at loggerheads – sat on different sides of the negotiating table “as though they were parties at arm’s length”, Perry said. “The official taking note next to Hui did not know her boss had received HK$17.625 million from SHKP.”

Perry cited Raymond Kwok diary entries as saying Hui was at several meetings attended by himself and/or his brother and other notable figures.

It was also alleged that Hui continued to enjoy rent-free accommodation at the developer’s Leighton Hill estate after he became the No 2 official.

Perry said Hui entered a new tenancy agreement for HK$160,000 a month rent for 30 months. Within four days he was paid HK$4.8 million by Thomas Kwok, just enough to cover the rent.

A HK$3 million one-year loan SHKP subsidiary Honour Finance gave Hui in 2004 was not repaid in 2010 after Hui asked for and was granted annual extensions that Perry described as “seeking favour from people whose interest [Hui was] expected to adjudicate upon” as chief secretary.


April 12: “See Rafael Hui and TK at home” (Thomas Kwok)

April 19: A call to Hui in relation to Norman Chan and Joseph Yam

May 5: “Call Rafael Hui re MTR/KCR merge” and “TK re Rafael Hui package”

May 9:Call to Hui in relation to Eastern Harbour Tunnel

May 11: “See Rafael Hui and TK”

June 14: First reference in diary to Thomas Chan in relation to China Resources with a reference to JV (joint venture)

June 21: Discussion with Thomas Kwok in relation to Rafael Hui and Donald Tsang, who was appointed chief executive on June 16 (Hui appointed chief secretary on June 30)

July 12: “DT” (“what looks like the chief executive”: Donald Tsang)

July 14: Talk to Thomas Chan in relation to China Overseas and a reference to Hui