Win for accused in latest round of bail bid

ONE of three men facing charges in relation to an alleged $8.5 billion cigarette-smuggling racket yesterday won the first round in his fight to make a fresh application for bail.

Magistrate Jonathan Acton-Bond said in Eastern Court that Chong Tsoi-jun, 45, could make his bid for liberty.

Mr Acton-Bond's preliminary ruling comes after Mr Justice Leonard's decision last month in the High Court to overturn an earlier ruling of Mr Acton-Bond to grant Chong bail.

Lawyer for Chong, Kevin Egan, said he would be seeking bail because tentative committal dates had been set for November.

He claimed there had been a material change of circumstances.

But Crown prosecutor Kevin Zervos argued there was no real basis for a new bail hearing.

Both parties may be asked to re-appear for argument later this week, although the case has been formally set down again for June 30.