An alleged blackmailer, accused of plotting to stab a murder witness, was cleared of conspiracy and blackmail charges yesterday because the plan was hatched outside Hong Kong. In the High Court, Mr Justice Frank Stock concluded So Chi-sung could not be convicted of the alleged crimes because they were probably not committed within Hong Kong's jurisdiction. Earlier, prosecutor Dee Crebbin told the court So was a member of an armed gang of hitmen who lay in wait outside a mainland factory for businessman Tse Charm-por. But their target did not show up, so they went home. When their client refused to pay them, the hired guns were said to have gone to Mr Tse's Hong Kong office and offered to sell him the name of the man who had hired them, the court was told. So, 31, had denied conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of explosives with intent to cause serious injury to property, and blackmail. He was also acquitted of the explosives charge because the TNT and detonators might have come into his possession after the gang abandoned its plan to blow up Mr Tse's Hong Kong office. So admitted possessing explosives. He and two partners in crime will be sentenced on May 16.