Rafael Hui Si-yan received HK$3 million from Law Cheuk as a "commission" and "reward" for helping the latter obtain a HK$550 million bank loan, the High Court heard yesterday.
But Law - about whom nothing has been revealed but his name - was deemed irrelevant to the inquiry into Hui's alleged corruption after investigators interviewed him, the trial of the former chief secretary and the billionaire Kwok brothers was told yesterday.
"That HK$3 million was sort of a commission paid by Law Cheuk to the first defendant [Hui] as a reward for his ... introducing Mr Law to obtain a loan from the Citic Bank," Ricky Yu Chun-cheong said. Yu, the Independent Commission Against Corruption's assistant director of operations, was responding to cross-examination from Hui's lawyer, Edwin Choy Wai-bond.
The court was told earlier that Hui used the HK$3 million to pay the rent on two luxury flats for 18 months after he became No 2 in the government in 2005.
Yu confirmed that the HK$3 million was paid to Hui on June 21, 2005 - 10 days before he joined the Donald Tsang Yam-kuen administration as chief secretary.
Yu was a principal ICAC investigator in 2009. He took part in two interviews with Hui, and the arrests of Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and fellow defendant, SHKP executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, in March 2012. Hui allegedly lived rent-free in the two Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) flats at Leighton Hill from February 2003 to June 2005 before becoming chief secretary.
He is also alleged to have received tens of millions of dollars from SHKP co-chairmen Raymond Kwok Ping-luen and Thomas Kwok to act as their "eyes and ears" in the government.
Following Hui's appointment in 2005, SHKP started to collect HK$160,000 in monthly rent from him. But before that, he got the HK$3 million cheque in June that covered the rent up to December 2006, the court was told.
Mr Justice Andrew Macrae told the jury yesterday that the prosecution's case was unlikely to finish before a 12-day break beginning this weekend, but it would be concluded "fairly soon after" the court resumed on September 4.
Hui, 66, faces eight charges related to bribery and misconduct in public office. Thomas Kwok, 62, faces one charge of conspiracy to offer an advantage to Hui and two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Raymond Kwok, 61, faces four charges, including one with Hui of furnishing false information. Chan, 67, and former stock-exchange executive Francis Kwan Hung-sang, 63, each face two charges. They have all pleaded not guilty.
The trial continues today.