A mainland judge jailed a Hong Kong couple for corruption yesterday and rejected claims Guangdong police had raided their North Point home to seize evidence. Su Zhi-yi, 67, was given a life sentence and Kam Shuk-yee, 57, a 15-year term. Lawyers defending the couple against the $4 million graft charges said they would appeal because the verdict was wrong and had no foundation. They described as 'ridiculous' the way the judge referred to the illegal cross-border raid allegations. He called them purely a defence argument, rather than a fact revealed by the prosecution during the trial in April. Zhaoqing City Intermediate People's Court Judge Chen Weiquan said there was sufficient evidence to prove Su and Kam pocketed $4 million from state-owned trading company Paraway Industries in Hong Kong between 1989 to 1994. The pair had their assets confiscated for the offence, which carries a maximum sentence of death. Delivering the verdict at an open hearing attended by dozens of members of the public, Judge Chen said: 'The case is serious. The defendants have stolen a large amount of state assets and the act amounts to a corruption offence. They should be punished heavily for the crime. But since they have returned the stolen cash and property, they can be given a lenient penalty.' The judge rejected the defence argument that the evidence was tainted and could not be presented in court: 'Both defence lawyers of Su and Kam suggested Zhaoqing city police illegally crossed the border to conduct a search and seize evidence from their homes in Hong Kong and Macau many times. Investigations found Zhaoqing police have never gone to Hong Kong nor Macau to conduct searches and seize evidence at the defendants' homes.' The judge said there was sufficient evidence to prove Paraway was a state-funded company and that Su was appointed in his capacity as a government official to be a director of the firm. While there was no evidence to show Kam was a government official, the judge said she colluded with Su to transfer Paraway's money illegally while she was working as an accounts clerk at the company between 1989 and 1994. However, one of the defence lawyers, Chen Xiaofeng, said: 'The cross-border raid was first revealed by the procuratorate office during the trial, not us. The prosecution even said the Public Security Bureau had issued a warrant for the search and claimed this was legal under the law. We started a debate on this question during the trial. 'But now the court says the raid never took place and that it was a defence argument. It's ridiculous. They just want to get away with it.' Mr Chen said the Public Prosecutor, Zhou Shu, repeatedly told the court during the trial last month that the account books relating to Paraway were seized from Su's home in Hong Kong. The couple's daughter, Su Suet, has said she was arrested in Zhaoqing with her parents in October 1995. She was then escorted to her North Point home by Public Security Bureau officers, economic officials and Paraway officials. She said her parents were also taken back to Hong Kong and Macau on different occasions by public security officers to take and sign over personal property in 1996. Ms Su reported the alleged raid to police here and the controversy sparked concern over the problem of mainland officers exercising jurisdiction in Hong Kong. She has claimed local detectives had given her details of immigration records, which show that people with the same names as the mainland security officers and government officials crossed the border at the time she alleges. Both Hong Kong and mainland police have issued assurances that such cross-border raids are not allowed and are probing the claims. Guangdong officers will soon pass their results to their SAR counterparts. The defence lawyers also argued there was a lack of evidence to show Paraway was a state-run company, because it was set up as a private firm with Su as director. They also questioned the grounds for Zhaoqing officials to confiscate the pair's $14 million assets before the trial when the couple were only charged in relation to $4 million in corrupt funds. Son Su Guangcan, who attended the hearing, said: 'I believe my parents are innocent.'