A priest yesterday said he had deliberately erased two audio tapes on which an altar boy revealed how he had been molested by another priest because he did not think there would be a prosecution. Father Chiu Bit-shing told the District Court he felt the tapes were useless because the accused, Michael Lau Ka-yee, had already resigned from the priesthood and he believed the alleged victim had forgiven him. Further, Father Chiu said he had detailed the contents of the tapes over the phone to the late head of the Hong Kong Catholic Church, Cardinal John Baptist Wu Cheng-chung. He said Cardinal Wu had told him he would handle the matter and had later asked Lau to resign from the priesthood. The court has heard Lau quit on September 15, 1995, and that the tapes were destroyed at the end of that year. 'The matter was over a long time ago. The defendant had resigned and the complainant had already forgiven the defendant,' Father Chiu said. 'The tapes were not useful. I did not intend [to initiate] any prosecution.' Lau, 42, is accused of inviting the alleged victim, now 27, to his dormitory at St Joseph's Catholic Church and Anglo-Chinese Primary School, in Kwun Tong, and molesting him, saying the youth needed 'sexual therapy'. Another fondling incident allegedly took place at Lau's dormitory in July 1992 during the alleged victim's summer holiday from a school in England. Father Chiu said yesterday that during an hour-long meeting in June 1995 between himself, Lau, the alleged victim and a friend, Lau had begged for forgiveness because he knew he had done wrong. Father Chiu said: 'I remember Lau Ka-yee said [to the alleged victim] 'I have assaulted you. I am sorry'.' He added Lau said at the meeting that he had been sexually abused when he was young, but denied that Lau had confessed to hurting another altar boy, as the alleged victim has previously testified. Father Chiu said Lau was in floods of tears and that the alleged victim abused him verbally in English. He added that Cardinal Wu was later aware that Chinese-language newspaper the Apple Daily had interviewed the alleged victim regarding his claims, and he appointed him and two other priests to deal with the matter. Father Chiu called the paper on June 23, 1995, to try to stop it publishing the article, which was published two days later. But yesterday he denied he had tried to use his position to exert influence on the newspaper. He also denied he was trying to protect the Church from a scandal. The case continues before Judge Maggie Poon Man-kay.