Salesman testifies accused told him about Hong Kong body-in-cement murder
Witness recalls nonchalance of admission while friend of another co-defendant tells court of doing ‘something very wrong’
One of three men accused of killing an acquaintance and burying him in cement confessed to the murder, while another hinted he’d done “something very wrong”, a Hong Kong court heard on Wednesday.
Salesman Cheung Yik-huen told the High Court he received calls from one of the accused, Tsang Cheung-yan, after he and his two co-defendants had fled to Taiwan following the murder of Cheung Man-li in 2016.
The defendant said he and others had “powed” someone, Cheung recalled, which he understood to mean killed. The defendant added he would not be returning to Hong Kong for some time.
“I only laughed because he said it with a very nonchalant attitude,” the salesman told the court.
Tsang, 28, and his housemates Keith Lau, 23, and Cheung Sin-hang, 25, are accused of murdering Cheung Man-li, 28, also known as Ah J, at their home in the DAN6 industrial building in Tsuen Wan on March 4, 2016.
The three denied the charge but pleaded guilty to one count of preventing the lawful burial of Cheung’s body.
The prosecutors claimed Ah J’s mouth was covered with chloroform-soaked underwear before he was buried in a block of cement after his death.
The court on Wednesday heard another witness, Tong King-shing, reveal Lau had dropped hints of nefarious activity to him.
Lau and Tong had gone to Singapore for a dance competition right after the murder, prosecutors said, before Lau returned to Hong Kong, before fleeing to Taiwan with his co-accused.
Tong confirmed the Singapore trip and said Lau, who appeared upset and did not talk much, had told him: “I’ve done something very wrong.”
Salesman Cheung Yik-huen, who met Tsang at the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy movement protests in the city, told the court the trio turned up with suitcases at the electronic shop where he worked in Sham Shui Po before they left for Taiwan. He said Tsang had asked him to print their Taiwan visas.
Cheung said he regarded Tsang as a customer and noted he had made inquiries about buying listening devices.
After the trio left for Taiwan, Tsang made a series of phone calls to the salesman asking him for loans, the court heard.
During one of these conversations, in which Tsang told him they had killed someone, Cheung said he overheard a voice in the background saying they had buried a body in cement and were using air-freshener and perfume to repel the odour. Cheung believed the voice belonged to Cheung Sin-hang.
He said the last phone call from Tsang came on March 28, 2016, after he repeatedly denied Tsang’s requests for a loan.
He said Tsang told him to go to Sin Tat Plaza in Mong Kok to look for a man called “Papa” to pick up HK$6,000 (US$764). But the witness said he did not go.
The trial continues on Thursday before Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung.