Emotional letter for clemency tells of 'deeply loved' Cheung's caring, sharing

Big Spender's wife has made an emotional plea to the Government in a desperate attempt to spare her husband from execution on the mainland.

Law Yim-fong is also appealing to Tung Chee-hwa to liaise with the mainland court to allow her to see Cheung Tze-keung, 43, in custody.

The two-page plea, a copy of which was obtained by the South China Morning Post yesterday, is addressed to the SAR Government and Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee.

Dated November 24, it is signed by Ms Law, who also writes on behalf of her mother-in-law, Tang Sai-mui, and her two sons. A copy is also being sent to Mr Tung.

The Security Bureau said it had received the letter last night and would convey it to the mainland court.

In the letter, Ms Law says she 'deeply loves' Cheung and their sons are young. She describes Cheung as a dutiful son who always 'shows filial obedience' to his mother.

She says Cheung is helpful to friends, and tells how once when he was in jail in Hong Kong he asked her to give some money to the poverty-stricken father of a fellow inmate.

The Government is also asked to liaise with the Guangdong court to allow a family visit. Since Cheung's arrest in January, Ms Law has only seen him once, on the last day of the trial last month.

Normally, relatives are barred from meeting prisoners until they appear in court to hear decisions on appeals.

The appeal court is expected to deliver a verdict on the 'Big Spender' case before mid-February.

The Security Bureau, which helped convey a plea for clemency by the family of another Hong Kong death-row convict, Chin Hon-sau, said yesterday it had received no pleas from any other families.

The Chief Executive's Office said yesterday it had not yet received Ms Law's plea.