A solicitor who was fined $170,000 for professional misconduct attended the first day of a hearing yesterday to clear his name wearing Arabic attire. Josip Ma Pui-tung said outside the Court of Appeal that he bought the clothes during trips to the Middle East. He said he liked Muslim culture. On July 16, after a hearing involving 37 sessions, a three-member Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal fined Ma $170,000 for breaching professional conduct. He was also barred from running his own legal firm or being in a legal partnership for six months, and ordered to pay 80 per cent of the tribunal's legal costs. In addition, Ma was found guilty of contempt over a heated exchange he had with a tribunal member during the hearings. He faced the disciplinary hearing after the Law Society received a complaint from his former client, Koo Koon-yan. The tribunal concluded that Ma failed to provide Mr Koo with a proper record of charges amounting to $40,000, that he inadequately explained a document to his client, and sent a clerk to take his place at a High Court hearing on November 14, 1996. During the marathon tribunal hearing, Ma wore Arabic clothing and dark glasses. Yesterday, Ma's barrister, William Allan, argued that the findings were flawed because the tribunal disregarded important discrepancies from statements made by key witnesses. The hearing before Mr Justice Anthony Rogers and Mrs Justice Doreen Le Pichon continues today.