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Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong finance boss was ‘smiling’ after alleged murder of his mistress, court told

Final arguments heard in trial over alleged killing of nightclub hostess Chun Ka-yee, 33, who vanished from her flat in 2011

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 11:12pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 December, 2017, 12:06am

A Hong Kong finance company director on trial for killing his mistress was seen smiling on security footage as he made arrangements to clear out her flat, according to prosecutors who argued on Friday there was overwhelming evidence pointing to murder.

But defence lawyers for Ivan Chan Man-sum called on the jury to consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, and even to acquit him altogether, because they said the prosecution had failed to prove the killing was unlawful.

Counsels on Friday concluded their cases in the murder trial of nightclub hostess Chun Ka-yee, 33, who vanished from her flat at Amoy Gardens, Kowloon Bay, in October 2011.

The High Court heard Chan, 44, has admitted to killing Chun “by mistake” and disposing of her body in a nylon bag dumped in a rubbish trolley parked outside an unknown village, after a fight to end their extramarital affair.

Hong Kong finance boss confesses at murder trial to killing mistress who worked as nightclub hostess

Her body was never found, and her flat was cleared within days in what prosecutors called “a very swift and organised disposal”, with Chan packing up her belongings, hiring a decorator, and even checking her postbox. “How thoughtful,” senior assistant director of public prosecutions Anna Lai Yuen-kee SC said.

She observed that when Chan was caught on CCTV entering and leaving the flat with the decorator on October 10, he had a smile on his face. “Probably he was relieved that Miss Chun was gone,” Lai suggested. “She would not trouble him any more.”

The prosecutor argued there was overwhelming evidence from Chan’s conduct and lies after the killing to show he had a murderous intent while he was physically fighting her inside the flat on October 6, 2011.

Lai asked the jury to draw conclusions from their knowledge of human nature in considering the circumstantial evidence surrounding Chun’s death, and urged them to reject a defence suggestion that Chan acted in self defence.

“He inflicted a lot of force on her and that resulted in her death,” she continued. “That is why we say it is murder.”

She also noted that Chan “could not afford to have the body found” because it would contain clues for investigators to find out Chun’s cause of death.

Finance director murdered mistress and sneaked away the body, prosecutors tell Hong Kong court

The lack of proof on how Chun died led defence counsel Steve Chui to call for an acquittal. “They have no evidence as to what actually happened on October 6, am I right?” he asked. “Then how could you be sure the act was unlawful?”

He also argued that Chan had no intention or need to take Chun’s life. “The prosecution case is that it was in the course of the fight that the defendant used excessive force onto the deceased and at the same time had the intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm. He had the murderous intent out of the blue,” Chui said in a raised voice after snapping his fingers. “Are you sure? Why was there a need for the defendant to kill her at that time? What good does it do to the defendant?”

Chui reminded the jury that they are not in a court of morals, and asked that they set aside prejudices against extramarital affairs, or the fact that Chun was a mainlander and a nightclub hostess.

Responding to the prosecutor’s characterisation that Chan was a skilful, habitual liar, Chui replied: “He told you he had a reason to lie … if you believe him.”

Madam Justice Anthea Pang Po-kam will sum up the case on Monday.