CY Leung did not disclose payments from surveying firms, Hui trial hears

Counsel for SHKP tycoon Thomas Kwok says chief executive did not disclose payments he received from Jones Lang LaSalle and DTZ

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 6:10pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 June, 2014, 3:09am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying did not make public his prior business ties with companies, a lawyer for tycoon Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong said yesterday as she countered statements on the duty of executive councillors to declare such interests.

Clare Montgomery QC, for the Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairman, made the revelation in the corruption trial that alleges former No2 official Rafael Hui Si-yan received millions of dollars from Kwok and fellow SHKP co-chairman Raymond Kwok Ping-luen and two others, to be the property magnate's "eyes and ears" and "inside man" in the government.

She was challenging prosecution witness Kinnie Wong Kit-yee, an Exco clerk, who told the Court of First Instance a day earlier it was necessary for an Executive Council member to declare interests when he had "a link" with an organisation from which he had received money.

Leung did not disclose payments he received from Jones Lang LaSalle, DTZ and his own surveying firm on his latest public registers, Montgomery revealed.

"He didn't declare any of this, did he?" Montgomery asked Wong.

And before Leung became chief executive, he also did not make disclosures when Exco discussed the development of Ma Wan in 2008 - despite the fact that he had written a complaint letter on behalf of a farm on the island in 1995, Montgomery said.

Wong called it a member's "self judgment" whether to make disclosures, while Montgomery argued it was because the matter discussed had nothing to do with the subject matter that Leung had handled.

Hui, 66, allegedly failed to disclose HK$34 million worth of cash and other inducements from Thomas Kwok, Raymond Kwok and two others when he was in Exco as chief secretary from 2005 to 2007 and a non-official member until 2009.

It was shown yesterday that Hui made 11 declarations to fellow Exco members during meetings, but he did not do so when they talked about the West Kowloon Cultural District or Ma Wan Park projects, which were, the prosecution say, in SHKP's key interests.

The court heard that regular declarations of financial interest made by Hui in 2005 and 2007 could not be found in records kept by the Exco secretariat. Answering a question from Mr Justice Andrew Macrae, Wong said a member would still have to submit a blank and signed declaration even if he had no financial interest to declare.

She added that it was possible the documents were misplaced.

When cross-examined by Hui's counsel, Edwin Choy Wai-bond, Wong agreed that if Hui received gifts in his capacity as chief secretary, all he needed to do was declare them to the chief executive, but not to the Exco secretariat, which keeps lists of gifts and interests for public inspection.

Hui faces eight charges relating to bribery and misconduct in public office. Thomas Kwok, 62, and Raymond Kwok, 61, face three and four charges respectively. SHKP executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, 67, and former Hong Kong stock exchange official Francis Kwan Hung-sang, 63, each face two charges. All pleaded not guilty.

The trial will continue on Monday.