THE principal gang members all failed in their appeals because there was abundant evidence to prove their serious offences, the court said. But two convicted gang members - mainlander Yu Hanjin, 33, and Hong Kong man Chan Shue-hon, 47 - had their sentences reduced because of their minor roles in the crimes. In one case on the mainland, involving robbery and murder, Yu had a minor role and did not take part in torturing the victim, said Nu Botao, head of the Higher People's Court. 'Considering these conditions, life imprisonment was considerably high for him,' he said. Yu's life sentence was reduced to 15 years and his loss of political rights reduced from life to five years. The court also ruled Chan only took a lesser role in the kidnapping of two Hong Kong tycoons. He was also co-operative in revealing where the ransom money was hidden. His sentence was reduced from eight years to five years, and his loss of political rights from eight to five years. Mr Nu rejected the appeal lodged by Cheung Tze-keung's lawyer, which claimed Cheung was not actively involved in the trading of arms for which he was sentenced to death. 'We have sufficient witnesses and evidence to show Cheung Tze-keung took a mastermind role in the crime,' he said. 'And it did not appear the offences only took place in Hong Kong.' After explaining the verdict, Mr Nu also raised the issue of judicial disputes between the mainland and SAR Governments in an attempt to ease the concerns of Hong Kong people. 'If a case only involves Hong Kong residents and it entirely takes place in Hong Kong, the mainland will surely not intervene,' he stressed. 'It will not happen now, and it will not happen in future. We respect the independent judicial system of Hong Kong.' After the verdict, Cheung's lawyer, Tong Jianhua, said: 'I have tried my best to help. And I believe I have fulfilled the responsibility of a lawyer.' Yu's lawyer, Cheng Caili, was happy the court had listened to his arguments. 'It's a fair trial. And I have confidence in our judicial system,' he said.