Prominent businessman Lew Mon-hung will appear in court today accused of perverting public justice by seeking to influence Hong Kong's chief executive and the head of the anti-graft body to halt a corruption probe.
Lew, 64, who has been charged with one count of performing acts "tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice", arrived at the headquarters of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in North Point yesterday to assist with its investigations.
The former deputy chairman and executive director of the listed company Pearl Oriental Oil will appear in Eastern Court.
The ICAC said Lew was accused of sending e-mails and a letter to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and ICAC commissioner Simon Peh Yun-lu in an alleged attempt to stop an ICAC probe involving him.
"The defendant was alleged to have sought to terminate an investigation being carried out by the ICAC against him and/or others by asserting his past dealings and association with CE Leung Chun-ying, by threat or by intimidation to influence Leung and/or ICAC Commissioner Peh Yun-lu through two e-mails addressed to Leung and Peh respectively, and a letter addressed to Leung and copied to Peh," the ICAC said in a statement.
The acts are alleged to have been committed between January 9 and 10 when he and Pearl Oriental Oil chairman Wong Kwan were being investigated over alleged malpractice in the acquisition of a US oilfield in 2010.
It is not known whether Leung or Peh will be called as witnesses.
Although the chief executive is named in the charge, barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said it did not mean he would necessarily be asked to testify; it all depended how the case was presented by the prosecution.
Following his arrest, Lew, formerly a close political ally of the chief executive, was not reappointed to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Lew fled to Hong Kong from Dongguan , Guangdong, in 1973, where he began working as a factory floor cleaner.