A 'memory-refreshing' exercise carried out by ICAC officers on the former personal assistant to fraud-accused businesswoman Lily Chiang Lai-lei came 'uncomfortably close' to witness coaching, a court was told yesterday. Chiang's counsel, Adrian Bell SC, told the District Court that Yip Yuk-chun - who is testifying against her boss of 15 years under immunity from prosecution - was unreliable and dishonest for 13 reasons. Bell was making his final submission on the 59th day of the trial of the former chairwoman of the General Chamber of Commerce. Prosecutors say Chiang, 50, pocketed more than HK$3.7 million by instructing others to hold options or shares in two listed companies on her behalf, contrary to listing rules. Defence lawyers said these were genuine grants of shares to employees. Bell told the court that the memory-refreshing exercises, where Independent Commission Against Corruption officers read Yip's witness statements to her, were 'highly undesirable' and 'uncomfortably close to coaching'. He added that Yip frequently exhibited selective memory and was evasive in answering questions. Chiang denies five charges of fraud and making false statements in relation to two fraud schemes. Co-defendants Tahir Hussain Shah, 45, and Pau Kwok-ping, 54, former chief executive of Eco-Tek Holdings, also deny the charges. When Yip was first arrested, she was frightened and vulnerable, Bell said. She deflected responsibility from herself by claiming that her boss had instructed her to handle the proceeds of the transfer of shares. 'As an immune witness, she knows that unless she gives evidence as expected, she risks prosecution herself [as an accomplice],' he said. She would have been expected to give evidence in court consistent with her witness statements. Also, the commission allegedly gave an allowance to Yip, which included money for her to pay a mortgage which had, in fact, already been paid off, Bell said. Payments were made from October 2007 and throughout the trial. 'Their relationship is a cosy and mutually beneficial one,' he said. It transpired during cross-examination that Wong Wai-ming, Yip's husband and a fellow witness, had bank accounts and carried out businesses outside Hong Kong, Bell said, the details of which had not been put forward by the prosecution. Prosecutors had not, therefore, shown that Yip had not pocketed the proceeds of the shares she received. Prosecutor Simon Westbrook SC earlier challenged the claim that Pacific Challenge Holdings employees had been granted share options for themselves. He said the staff were too junior to warrant such an incentive. They included Chiang's driver and three mainland workers paid 1,000 yuan (HK$1,195) per month. However, Bell said the shares options were a 'no-cost' way for the company to provide incentives and there was no justification for inferring fraud. The trial continues today before Judge Albert Wong Sung-hau.