COURTS

Mystery man who paid HK$3 million to Rafael Hui Si-yan named in trial

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 August, 2014, 11:31pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 August, 2014, 2:22am

A man named Law Cheuk was the mystery person who gave Rafael Hui Si-yan HK$3 million to pay rent on his Happy Valley flats just before he became chief secretary in mid-2005, the High Court heard yesterday.

The man's identity was revealed by ICAC investigator Hazel Law Pui-man, after she testified on Monday that the source of the money had nothing to do with the graft trial involving Hui and two property tycoons.

Hui allegedly lived rent-free in the two Sun Hung Kai Properties flats at the Leighton Hill from February 2003 to June 2005 - until he became the city's No 2 man - and received tens of millions of dollars from the developer's co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen to act as their "eyes and ears" in the government.

From July 2005, after Hui's appointment, SHKP started to collect HK$160,000 in monthly rent from him, the court heard earlier.

But before that, he got a HK$3 million cheque in June that covered the rent from July 2005 to December 2006, Hazel Law told the court on Monday.

Under questioning by lead prosecutor David Perry QC yesterday, Hazel Law said the cheque giver was Law Cheuk. She also explained the Independent Commission Against Corruption's interest in the money.

According to auditors' records, Hui's company, Top Faith Enterprises, had a total income of HK$12 million for two years until his appointment at the end of June 2005, Hazel Law said.

Hui's major source of income from March 2004 to March 2005 was said to be his job as an SHKP consultant, but the developer paid only HK$9 million in consultancy fees during this time.

"The ICAC noticed the HK$3 million difference," Hazel Law said. "It found out Mr Law Cheuk had given that sum of money to Mr Hui as a consultancy fee."

Three other ICAC officers who spoke to Law Cheuk concluded he was not involved with SHKP or the Kwok brothers.

The anti-graft agency arrested former stock-exchange executive Francis Kwan Hung-sang on March 19, 2012, senior ICAC investigator Andrew Cheung Kin-ling said. Cheung's team found bank documents showing that Kwan gave many cheques to Hui, worth millions of dollars, from 2004 to 2007.

Kwan had passed the money to Hui on behalf of SHKP executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, the court heard earlier.

Hui, 66, faces eight charges related to bribery and misconduct in public office. 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. Raymond Kwok, 61, faces four charges, including one with Hui of furnishing false information. Chan, 67, and Kwan, 63, each face two charges. All plead not guilty.