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Body-in-cement murder case

Man accused in body-in-cement murder complained of ‘unfair’ treatment in Taiwan, court hears

Keith Lau, accused in murder of Cheung Man-li, told Hong Kong police he had a bad feeling after being separated from his co-defendants after arrest

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 April, 2018, 8:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 April, 2018, 11:18pm

One of the three Hong Kong flatmates accused of murdering an acquaintance and concealing his body in a concrete coffin said it was “unfair” that he was separated from the other two after they were arrested in Taiwan, the High Court heard on Friday.

In a recorded interview with Hong Kong police, Keith Lau, 23, said Taiwanese immigration officers isolated him from Tsang Cheung-yan, 28, and Cheung Sin-hang, 26, after they were detained in Taiwan and waited to be returned to Hong Kong for a murder charge.

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“They were with each other for more than 24 hours … Not sure what they had done,” Lau

said on the recording. “So unfair.”

The men fled to Taiwan on March 11, seven days after they allegedly murdered Cheung Man-li, 28, also known as Ah J, at the flat the three shared in Tsuen Wan on March 4, 2016. Lau, Tsang and Cheung have pleaded not guilty to murder, but they have pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful burial of Cheung’s body.

Prosecutors allege that they attacked Ah J with chloroform and that Tsang injected alcohol into his body at Flat 9D of the DAN6 industrial building that day. Subsequently, they buried him in a block of cement, the prosecutors said.

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The court has been given contradicting accounts by the defendants. While Tsang said Lau was the mastermind, Lau countered that Tsang and Cheung went out of their way to make sure Ah J died that day.

In his interview with Hong Kong police, Lau said the three men were arrested in Taiwan on April 11 after being holed up there for a month. They were soon handed over to the immigration department, where Lau said he was separated from Tsang and Cheung.

“Tsang Cheung-yan and Cheung Sin-hang sat together and chatted,” he said, recalling his last moments in Taiwan. “I don’t have a very good feeling.”

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During the interview, officers also asked Lau about paint police had found in the flat. According to Lau, Tsang suggested that he and Cheung paint the cement block that contained Ah J’s body so it could be used as an obstacle in paintball matches. However, the cement block proved too cumbersome to remove from the flat.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung on Monday.