The three Hong Kong men were imprisoned merely because the court could not admit previous mistakes, their lawyer said immediately after the verdict. In a rare criticism of a verdict by a mainland lawyer, Zhu Yuantao said the only reason the trio had not been released was the 'huge amount of money' involved in the case. Mr Zhu is a former judge of the Supreme People's Court in Beijing. 'There's no reason for the court to substantiate their charges,' he said. 'There are no witnesses nor material evidence. And it happened in Zhuhai which is outside Shenzhen's jurisdiction. 'We stated that clearly to the court when it opened on June 6. But the court just ignored our views.' Mr Zhu said the court could not decide which department was responsible for compensation if the trio were released. 'If they were released, the goods should also be returned,' he said. 'Which department should be responsible for such a huge amount? 'It was the Public Security Bureau officer selling the goods. But the court itself is also responsible for the long delay in legal proceedings. 'Both of them are trying to shrug off the responsibilities. 'And what would happen if the trio sought compensation after they were released?' He said the mainland had no experience in handling compensation demands from Hong Kong people.