Rafael Hui's wife 'discussed layout of flats with SHKP', court told

Couple fitted out homes while Hui was still a public servant, court told

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2014, 11:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 July, 2014, 8:58am

The wife of Rafael Hui Si-yan discussed with a Sun Hung Kai Properties representative in 2001 how to fit out two luxury Happy Valley flats developed by the property giant, the High Court heard yesterday.

That discussion took place during Hui's tenure as managing director of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority from June 2000 to August 2003.

From February 2003, Hui lived with his wife at The Leighton Hill without paying rent, the corruption trial involving the former chief secretary, 66, and two SHKP co-chairmen heard earlier.

"[Mrs Hui] did not have much to request about the fitting-out work or the standard of the flats," prosecution witness Stella Woo Yan-fan, an SHKP project manager, told the court. "She is kind of a practical person. She did not want something built and then subsequently it had to be removed … because it would be a waste of money."

Hui's wife also appointed a contractor around March 2001 to handle the interior design of the flats. The work was completed in May 2003, the court heard.

Hui, who faces eight charges related to bribery and misconduct in public office, became a consultant to SHKP in March 2004, after he quit public office.

The court heard further that in 2003, SHKP co-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong ordered a general manager to look for an office for Hui's personal use.

Thomas Kwok, 62, faces one charge of conspiracy to offer an advantage to Hui and two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

The former manager, Samson Chu Chung-kai, testified that his boss had told him there was "no need" for a certain colleague to know the office would be for Hui.

Chu, under further probing from Kwok's lawyer on whether that actually happened, said: "I am not sure if that was said."

A suite office at One IFC, developed by SHKP, was then handed over to Hui on July 16, 2003 - before his term with the authority ended the following month, the court heard.

Chu said he had sent Kwok a handwritten note, dated May 28, 2004, about Hui's overdue rent.

"Why were you sending this note to Mr Thomas Kwok for him to settle the outstanding debit note in relation to the office?" prosecutor Louis Mably asked.

"Mr Kwok had told me that he would handle all the payment arrangements in relation to that office," Chu said. The court heard that the debit note involved HK$224,000.

He sent another demand note to the other SHKP co-chairman, Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, for his endorsement in July 2004.

Raymond Kwok, 61, faces four charges, including one with Hui of furnishing false information.

Also yesterday, Diana Chan Tong Chee-ching, managing director of the authority, testified she had acted as a "go-between" for Hui and an IFC leasing officer. "[Hui] mentioned to me he was looking for offices for his personal use," Chan said. "So I as a friend … helped him make these enquiries with the leasing officer."

She said she took the keys of the One IFC office on July 16 "out of kindness" on behalf of Hui, as the officer could not reach him.

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 have pleaded not guilty. The trial continues.