Businessman David Tong Cun-lin has won a significant victory in his bid to quash a judge's order that he foot the multi-million-dollar bill for his defence in the epic Tomson Pacific trial. The former Tomson Pacific executive, cleared of fraud and bribery charges in November, yesterday won the right to challenge the judge's ruling at Hong Kong's top court. An argument was put to the Court of Final Appeal by his barrister, Vivian Robinson, QC, that there had been a 'grave injustice'. Although Mr Tong - along with his four co-accused, including former top stockbroker Arthur Lai Cheuk-kwan - was cleared after a six-month trial sparked by Tomson Pacific's 1990 takeover of the World Trade Centre Group, the judge ordered he pay his own defence costs. Trial judge Mr Justice Brian Keith said Mr Tong's actions led the prosecution to suspect he was party to a bid to defraud the Securities and Futures Commission. However, Mr Robinson argued: 'The matrix of facts when a jury acquits cannot be used in determining costs. 'In this case, the matters the judge focused upon in saying this applicant brought suspicion upon himself were crucial aspects of the prosecution case . . . major matters.' It would be a 'grave injustice' for his client not to be able to address the judge's basis for refusing his costs in the trial, he said. Moreover, he contended the Court of Final Appeal provided the only means of remedy. 'There is that real danger of something so seriously wrong that justice demands an inquiry,' Mr Robinson said. There was no jurisdiction for his client to make a case at the Court of Appeal, he said. Court of Final Appeal judge Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary conceded that the case was ultimately 'arguable'. 'In the circumstances, we grant the applicant leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal against the decision refusing him his costs,' he said.