Insider dealing tribunals faced renewed criticism after three people implicated in the six-year-long Cheong Ming Investment inquiry were cleared yesterday. A tribunal chaired by Deputy High Court Judge Saunders concluded that all three implicated parties named in the case, which dates back to February 2000, were not insiders. Commentators said this marked another blow to tribunal mechanism, which already faced criticism that it was too slow and inefficient. The case demonstrated the inefficiency of the tribunals, Hong Kong Institute of Directors deputy chairman Edward Chow Kwong-fai said. 'For a simple case like Cheong Ming, it needed 61/2 years to reach a conclusion. It is ridiculously slow,' Mr Chow said. The tribunal spent only 16 days on a hearing after the financial secretary ordered it to investigate trading in Cheong Ming shares in September 2003. The finding was made to the financial secretary last month. Felix Yau Wing-yiu, Gwennie Chen Kwon-yin and Gabriel Tse Chi-wai were alleged to have used insider information to trade for profit ahead a share swap deal between Hong Kong-listed Cheong Ming and Tokyo-listed Sega.com amid the dotcom boom in 2000. Mr Yau was assistant director at BNP Prime Peregrine Capital, which helped arranged the deal. He was alleged to have made a HK$3.39 million profit by buying 800,000 Cheong Ming shares through the accountants of his wife, Ms Chen, and of his friend, Mr Tse, before the deal was announced in February 2000. He sold the shares after Cheong Ming's share price rose almost 724 per cent on a single day after the deal was made public. The tribunal, in which Judge Saunders sits with two lay members, yesterday announced it had concluded by a majority decision of 2-1 that Mr Yau had not conducted insider dealing. 'While finding Felix Yau's purchase and subsequent immediate sale of Cheong Ming shares to be highly suspicious, the majority were not satisfied to a high degree of probability that his actions constituted insider dealing,' the tribunal report said. The tribunal also reached the unanimous conclusion that Ms Chen and Mr Tse had not engaged in insider dealing. Hong Kong Stockbrokers Association chairman Tony Espina said the government should speed up insider dealing investigations to improve enforcement in the market.