Top Hong Kong court concerned over former No 2 Rafael Hui’s 1,000-page appeal
Judge asks if so many papers are necessary for two-day hearing involving Rafael Hui, tycoon Thomas Kwok and two others
The city’s top court is questioning whether parties involved in former government No 2 Rafael Hui Si-yan’s final appeal against his misconduct conviction should “burden” the judges with nearly a thousand pages of supporting documents.
The papers include details about two development projects in which the official had played a role.
In a session dealing with procedural matters on Wednesday, Court of Final Appeal Registrar Simon Kwang Cheok-weung asserted that the top judges would only examine the relevant point of law – whether the former chief secretary’s “favourable disposition” to property tycoon Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong was a strong enough criminal element by the standards of bribery law.
Kwang urged the four defendants and the justice department to reconsider whether the documents were all necessary at the two-day hearing scheduled for May 9.
“[The judges] don’t have the luxury of being able to go through all of these documents,” he said, noting that lawyers representing Kwok, former co-chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, had planned to submit sets of documents relating to the Ma Wan development and the West Kowloon Cultural District project.
“[The inclusion of] documents not to be referred to at the hearing will not add value but only serves to confuse [the issue],” Kwang said.
None of the four appellants appeared at the session.
In December 2014, Hui, who served as chief secretary from 2005 to 2007, was jailed for 7½ years for pocketing almost HK$19.7 million in bribes and inducements and committing misconduct in public office.
Kwok was sentenced to five years in jail for conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office involving HK$8.5 million worth of illegal payments. His Sun Hung Kai Properties subordinate Thomas Chan Kui-yuen and another co-defendant, Francis Kwan Hung-sang, were serving six and five years respectively for handling HK$11.18 million in bribes.
All of them lost their first appeal against conviction in February last year.
On Wednesday, Kwang told parties in the case to determine by Friday which documents had to be laid before the top court.
“I try not to limit the liberty of counsel,” he said, adding that parties should reconsider how to utilise the relevant documents at the final appeal hearing.