Hong Kong's biggest corruption case took a new twist yesterday when a man insisting on anonymity filed a legal bid to stop the prosecutors disclosing to the defendants materials seized from him.
In a writ filed in the High Court, the man - identified only as "Mr A" - is seeking a judicial review of a decision by the Secretary for Justice to disclose the materials, which "Mr A" says imply he informed on the defendants - who include a former government No 2 and the billionaire co-chairmen of the city's biggest property developer.
The man, who is not a defendant or a witness in the case, claims disclosure of the materials will exacerbate "already difficult family relations", the writ says.
The application stems from the prosecution of former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, 64, Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, 61, and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, 59, and two others.
The charges allege that between 2000 and 2009 Hui received about HK$28.8 million in cash, HK$5.4 million in loans and the rent-free use of two luxury flats at Leighton Hill, Happy Valley. In return, Hui allegedly favoured the Kwoks. The three were arrested in March last year.
According to Mr A's application for judicial review, the materials in question included items seized by the graft-busters from his home on May 2 last year.
Other documents in question include a service agreement relating to Hui and records of e-mails dated March 19 and 20, 2008, relating to the Leighton Hill property, according to the filings.
They also include two letters dated October 10 and 14 last year from law firm Philip W.I. Li & Co. Solicitors and an ICAC's acknowledgment of receipt of one of the letters.
The man claims in the writ that the letters should not be handed over to the accused because "taken together they wrongly carry with them the implication that [Mr A] was the informer or an informer in these proceedings because the source of the materials … came from [his] office".
"Mr A" took the legal action after he was told by the prosecutors earlier this month that the materials in question would be disclosed to the defendants as "unused materials".
Records show that in a court hearing in March, lawyers for Thomas and Raymond Kwok urged the prosecution to hand over some "unused materials" expeditiously. The man claims that disclosing the materials will violate the protection of informers under section 30A of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
The man also wants to stop the prosecutors handing over seven records of interviews conducted with him by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, in which he referred to materials sized from him. He says only a redacted version of the records which have no reference to the materials seized from his home can be disclosed.
The man had written to the Secretary for Justice, requesting that the materials not be disclosed because they did not meet the criteria for disclosure as unused material, filings showed.
He claims the materials are private property and it is not in the public interest to disclose them. Whether the materials should be disclosed should not be a decision "exclusively" made by the Secretary for Justice and should be determined by the court, he says in the writ
The man is asking the High Court to impose an order restraining the Secretary for Justice from disclosing the materials. He also asks for an order that his identity not be disclosed and for the application to be heard behind closed doors.
The application will be heard on Thursday. No date has been fixed for the start of the trial.
A magistrate last month ordered the case forwarded to the High Court.