New evidence suggests Chief Executive-elect Leung Chun-ying's colleagues may have been aware of his alleged conflict of interest when he served as a judge for an arts hub design competition in 2001. The revelation was made to a Legislative Council inquiry yesterday as it emerged that a key witness, Malaysian architect Ken Yeang, has refused to testify in person or by tele-conferencing. Nor will he write a statement. Yeang's decision undermines the investigation into Leung, who is accused of failing to declare a conflict of interest before voting on anonymous entries for the West Kowloon arts hub. The DTZ property consultancy formerly run by Leung was named in Yeang's scheme as a property adviser. The jury, initially marking the entry for an honourable mention, disqualified it after they found DTZ's name in the scheme. On the third day of hearings yesterday, the council was shown a letter contradicting a statement by Leung's colleague who said he did not know Leung was a juror. The colleague had given information to Yeang's team. The letter was written by Kenneth Poon Kan-young, then director of quantity surveying firm Davis Langdon and Seah, a member of Yeang's team. It was sent to a local architect and copied to a DTZ director who had been invited by Poon to provide data on land valuation. Poon wrote that Leung was a juror, adding: 'This has been discussed with DTZ who advised that Mr Leung will make the necessary appropriate declarations and there should be no problem on this matter.' And he testified yesterday: 'I thought Leung served as a juror in his personal capacity ... I believed the government would have a mechanism to deal with it. Whether it will let him stay in the jury meeting or ask him to leave it, I did not know.' He also said he 'must have told' someone in DTZ that Leung was a juror, but he could not recall whom, and when. But Chiu Kam-kuen, executive director of DTZ, to whom Poon's letter was copied by fax, testified that he never received the fax. 'If I had known [Leung was a juror], I would not have given professional advice because there would be a conflict of interest.' Chiu also said Leung did not know DTZ had given advice on an entry until the jury finished voting and the government told Leung about it. Poon's and Chiu's contradictory remarks left lawmakers guessing who was telling the truth. Chiu said DTZ only provided rough land-value estimates for the entrant team on a no-fee basis. But according to documents disclosed yesterday, DTZ wrote a five-page response, commenting on the entry's financial viability. The hearing continues on Tuesday.