TWO mainlanders found trying to smuggle 18 illegal immigrants to Hong Kong will have to serve their jail sentences after the Court of Appeal ruled that the consent issued by a legal officer for their prosecution was lawful. In dismissing the appeals of Wong Sau-chuen and Wong Loi-wai, the Court of Appeal held that the Governor could delegate the power of consent and it was lawful to confer it to the Attorney-General. The two Wongs had pleaded guilty before District Court Judge Kilgour to a charge of being a member of a ship which entered Hong Kong with unauthorised entrants aboard. They were each sentenced to three years and three months. They were arrested along with 18 illegal immigrants on Po Toi Island on May 12. Since the Wongs were foreign nationals, and the offence was committed in Hong Kong waters aboard a foreign vessel, the consent of the Governor was needed to institute proceedings. Sir David Ford, then deputy to the Governor, delegated the power to the Attorney-General. Counsel for the Wongs, Philip Dykes, on appeal, argued that it was unlawful of the Governor's deputy to delegate power of consent. Michael Thomas, QC, for the Crown, argued that the delegation was a proper one and it was lawful for the Attorney-General to confer the power to his representative, who was a legal officer under the definition of the Legal Officers Ordinance.