Courts seen allowing member of public to file a criminal case Members of the public could launch a private prosecution against former financial secretary Antony Leung over the Cargate scandal, which the courts would more than likely allow to proceed, a legal academic said yesterday. Those who filed complaints with the ICAC against Mr Leung said yesterday such a move would be their last resort, after the Justice Department decided against prosecution. All citizens have the legal right to bring a private criminal prosecution against any persons or organisations, despite most cases usually being undertaken by the Justice Department. Eric Cheung Tat-ming, a legal academic at the University of Hong Kong, said as long as the Justice Department did not object and the courts were satisfied there was sufficient evidence to support the case, Mr Leung could be prosecuted. 'As there is ... a prima facie case, it is most likely that the courts would accept [the case] if someone starts a private prosecution,' Professor Cheung said. 'The department is also not likely to stop the prosecution on the grounds of public interest, as public resources are not involved.' Democratic legislator Martin Lee Chu-ming said there was enough evidence for a prosecution. Former police officer Lau Kwok-fai, who filed a complaint to the Independent Commission Against Corruption over the Cargate scandal, said he would only undertake a private prosecution as a last resort. He said that as the ICAC had not yet closed the case, he would wait and see whether the anti-graft watchdog could come up with new evidence or makes another move. Activist Tsang Kin-sing, who has also filed a complaint, said he and other activists would watch developments over the next few days and then decide whether or not to launch a fund-raising campaign to support a private prosecution. Professor Cheung said one major stumbling block could be the litigants' financial resources, while another was whether the ICAC and the Justice Department would act as witnesses or supply evidence they had collected.