A police superintendent presiding over the disciplinary hearing of three constables was biased because he may have had secret contacts with the prosecutor, according to a writ. The constables - Lam Sze-ming, Yeung Yat-wing and Ma Wing-chung - who were dismissed on March 16, losing their pensions and holidays, are asking the High Court to re-instate them. Their writ accuses Superintendent Leung Hung-wai of procedural impropriety and of breaching the rules of natural justice during the January 1998 disciplinary proceedings. At the hearing, which followed a criminal trial in which the three were acquitted of illegal gambling, the constables were charged with conduct calculated to bring the public service into disrepute. All three pleaded not guilty. The three were among 15 people arrested in a police raid on a Kowloon City flat on September 30, 1995. But a San Po Kong Court magistrate at the trio's legal hearing ruled in April 1996 that the gambling was not beyond the legal limits. The writ charges that Superintendent Leung and Chief Inspector Irene Ho Yuen-ha, who was prosecuting at the disciplinary proceedings, appeared to have frequent contacts, including telephone conversations about the case, in the absence of the accused. It says Superintendent Leung refused to consider the trio's request to conduct the proceedings in Chinese instead of English and that he interrupted cross-examination by the officers - who were representing themselves - of witnesses. The officers were found guilty as charged in March last year. 'In the circumstances, there is either a reasonable suspicion or a real likelihood of bias, and hence a real danger of injustice,' the writ says. It says constables Lam and Yeung were given a severe reprimand, while Chief Superintendent I. R. Mackness dismissed Constable Ma, suspended for one year. Their appeals within the force were rejected in March this year and the penalties increased to dismissal, effective from March 16.