Magistrate labels the allegations against a former Narcotics Bureau head and four others as vague A senior policeman and four other people accused of failing to disclose their living expenses and assets to the ICAC had no case to answer, a magistrate ruled yesterday. Magistrate Adriana Ching acquitted Senior Superintendent Sin Kam-wah, 45, his wife, Che Kwai-wing, 47, Senior Inspector Ng Po-on, 39, his wife, Lam Chuen-ip, 42, and Sergeant Eddy Chan Chun-keung, 41, of failing to comply with a notice issued under section 14(1) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. She awarded them costs. Sin, a former head of the Narcotics Bureau, is one of the most senior officers to have been charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which was criticised by the magistrate for its handling of the investigation. 'If the ICAC had reason to suspect the defendants had committed the offence, [it] should have made specific allegations, arrested and cautioned the defendants,' Ms Ching said in Eastern Court. '[It] should not have written ambiguous letters to the defendant's solicitors demanding that they provide potential self-incriminating evidence.' The magistrate was also critical of the defendants. 'Their answers [to the notice] placed them in a very poor light.' It had been the prosecution's case that the five did not disclose all expenditure incurred by themselves or their families during the three years before the notice was issued on September 16 last year. The prosecution alleged Sin had failed to detail two of his sons' school fees, or the monthly education allowance he received between 1999 and 2002, and some bank account details. The defendants were said to have failed to fully disclose details of their properties, investments, stocks, or holdings of precious metals. They were arrested and charged by the ICAC in March. The magistrate said there were no directions in the ordinance or the notice on the type of information needed, or the manner in which it should be provided. At the same time, she said, the answers to questions the ICAC claimed the defendants had failed to respond to could have been found in documents they listed in their statutory declarations. Outside court, Sin expressed satisfaction with the verdict. An ICAC spokesman said the commission would seek legal advice on whether to appeal. Sin, who has been suspended from duties, is facing trial in the District Court on three charges of misconduct in public office and one of being a government servant accepting an advantage between March 2, 2001, and May 16 last year, and two of possession of poison, namely Viagra. Lam is charged with three counts of offering an advantage to Sin, and with three counts of exercising control over five women with a view to prostitution.