Hong Kong finance boss in murder trial admits faking text exchange with dead mistress
He says he was frightened and impersonated the woman in case her friends looked for her
A finance company director on trial for killing his mistress admitted on Wednesday that he replied his own text messages to her using the woman’s phone to show that she was still alive and had left Hong Kong.
Police found screen captures of the fake exchange on the old Nokia phone of Ivan Chan Man-sum, 44. He had recorded the images of the messages in April 2012 after Chun Ka-yee, 33, was reported missing.
“[The decorator] will finish work on the flat the next day,” Chan texted Chun on October 10, 2011.
“Tomorrow [I am] engaged, I can’t come,” came the reply. “We’ll contact each other by phone.”
On Monday, Chan, who was married with two sons, confessed that he had killed Chun in a violent struggle after he had suggested that they end their affair. His wife had discovered their relationship.
The text messages Chan sent in October 2011 came four days after he had already killed Chun in her Amoy Gardens flat and disposed of her body in a nylon bag. The bag was dumped in a rubbish trolley parked outside a remote village between Tseung Kwan O and Sai Kung, the High Court heard.
Her body has never been found.
Using her phone, Chan had texted himself and her friends, who were looking for her, to say that she was “staying on the mainland for a period of time”.
Hong Kong finance boss confesses at murder trial to killing mistress who worked as nightclub hostess
Chan said his actions were because he was very frightened and confronting one problem at a time.
“For fear that someone may ask me where was KK, I could handily refer to that [screenshot] to tell people she went to the mainland,” he said, referring to the name he used to call Chun. “They were all my silly and foolish acts.”
While being cross-examined by the prosecution and grilled on details of his fight with Chun leading to her death, Chan had answered “not sure”, “can’t remember” and “no impression” to many questions.
Chan had told his counsel Steve Chui that he struggled with Chun on the floor, weighing her down with his upper body while she was beneath and trying to hit or kick him.
But he could not recall which specific part of his body was in contact with her or how else she reacted besides wriggling under his weight.
“The details, the action, I’m not sure, I don’t remember,” Chan repeatedly told the jury on his third day of testimony.
He was also “not sure” about what Chun was wearing at the time of her death, despite disposing of her body. When Madam Justice Anthea Pang Po-kam pointed out to him that it was important to remember, Chan replied: “Everything happened very quickly, very confusingly, there’s no way for me to remember.”
Chan also said that he did not look at Chun at all or pay attention to whether she was screaming for help, moaning, or struggling to breathe while they were on the floor.
“I want you to understand it’s a continuous movement,” he said. “You would be very confused and frightened; all you would want to do is to protect yourself.”
But when replying prosecutors about a question on air conditioning in the flat that day, Chan could recall the weather, saying: “Those two days, I remember it was quite warm or hot ... On the following day I wore a short-sleeved T-shirt.”
Chan has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder. The trial continues with his testimony.