The ICAC yesterday challenged a judge's ruling that a raid on the offices of jailed businessman Ch'ng Poh's former solicitors was unlawful. If successful in the Court of Appeal hearing, its officers will eventually be allowed to look at documents seized on May 22 during investigations into disgraced former Legal Department lawyer Warwick Reid. Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) officers swooped on the law firm after allegations Reid, 48, was paid to swear a false affidavit to discredit a key witness in Ch'ng's fraud trial. The papers are padlocked in two metal trunks held by the ICAC. But the keys are with the solicitors pending a final ruling on whether the raid was legal. If the ICAC loses, it will have to hand the papers back to the law firm unless another warrant is obtained. Last month, Mr Justice Conrad Seagroatt ruled the seizure was unlawful because officers blundered in applying for the warrant. When the officers applied to a magistrate for the warrant, they had to show they were investigating corruption offences rather than an attempt to pervert the course of justice. But the ICAC claimed yesterday there was reason to believe that Ch'ng's solicitor, referred to as Mr A, had accepted an advantage for obtaining the affidavit. Counsel Ian McWalters said: 'There is no direct information that shows acceptance of an advantage in terms of under the table payment. 'But if they [the law firm] were providing legal services for Ch'ng Poh they would be expected to be paid and that could be an advantage. 'Whether the advantage is under the table in a sealed envelope or concealed and laundered in inflated fees is irrelevant.' Mr Justice Henry Litton said the focus of the ICAC's arguments in applying for a search warrant was the payment of money to Reid for a false affidavit. He accused the ICAC of using 'mental gymnastics of the most amazing kind' in twisting the focus on to the solicitor. Mr Justice Litton suggested parts of the document placed before magistrate Alan Wright were 'mumbo jumbo' and that the magistrate had rubber-stamped the warrant. But Mr McWalters said the ICAC specified very carefully what it wanted because it was aware the officers were 'intruding into a solicitor's firm'. Reid has since admitted swearing a false affidavit which could have helped overturn Ch'ng's conviction for a $127 million fraud. The Court of Appeal will rule on the legality of the raid next Wednesday.