The mother of convicted 14K triad kingpin 'Broken Tooth' Wan Kuok-koi has published a newspaper advertisement protesting against reports her son's upcoming appeal is futile. Chan Lai-peng said in the advert that she and her family reserved the right to take legal action over the report. The advert, carried in two Chinese-language newspapers yesterday, expressed confidence in the independence of Macau's Court of Second Instance, which is scheduled to hear the appeal in a few weeks. It was placed in reaction to a report by Macau's best-selling Chinese-language newspaper, the pro-Beijing Ou Mun on April 25. A translation of the report was published by the Portuguese-language daily Jornal Tribuna de Macau. Quoting unidentified judicial sources, the report said the Court of Second Instance would confirm Wan's 15-year prison sentence in June. It also claimed the court would increase the sentence of the 'brains' of Wan's gang, ex-police officer Artur Chiang Calderon, who is serving a 10.5-year sentence. Legal sources were disgusted at the report. 'If the judiciary fails to take any legal action, relevant procedures should be activated by the local Bar Association,' a prominent lawyer said. Another lawyer described the claims as 'entirely unfounded'. He said they were possibly intended to 'put undue pressure on the bench'. The Court of Second Instance has remained silent on the issue. A judicial source said the report was 'absolutely baseless . . . drawn from coffee-shop speculation'. The source said the judiciary was 'well aware of the fact that the handling of the appeals represents a litmus test for the independence of the courts after the handover'. Wan and Calderon were sentenced in separate trials by the Court of First Instance in November. Both were convicted of organised crime charges. Wan was given the maximum sentence of 15 years for triad leadership. The prosecution claimed Wan and Calderon were the main culprits in the bloody gangland turf war that rocked Macau in the 1990s. Wan, Calderon and four other top triad gangsters are held in a small high-security prison block on Coloane Island. After complaints by the six inmates about the lack of fresh air at the facility, the prison management decided to install a new ventilation system. Macau's judiciary consists of a three-tier court system, comprising the Court of First Instance, Court of Second Instance and Court of Final Appeal.