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Austin Chiu

The British government's role in licensing the sale of arms to Hong Kong that could be used for "internal repression" has come under scrutiny.

A delegation of British lawmakers accused by Beijing of "meddling'' in Hong Kong affairs could arrive in the city as early as next month for a parliamentary inquiry.

Britain said it may ban tear gas exports to Hong Kong as London's commitment to its former colony came under scrutiny in a House of Commons debate.

A former personal assistant to ex-chief secretary Rafael Hui said in court that he did not have "concrete business" to do during a period of nearly two years before becoming the city's No 2 government official.

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One of two Happy Valley flats that became rent-free homes for former chief secretary Rafael Hui was bought by the Kwoks of SHKP in 2002 for "long-term investment", the High Court heard yesterday.

An executive director of SHKP told a high-level corruption trial about his "disturbing" experience of being warned years ago by his boss, Walter Kwok, over a lease agreement he had reached with a bank.

Retired government minister Michael Suen has denied being a good friend of a SHKP executive who is a co-defendant in the corruption trial of former chief secretary Rafael Hui.

The five leading business chambers formed a united front yesterday to oppose Occupy Central, warning that the pro-democracy civil disobedience movement might inflict damage on the city's economy.

A witness has for the first time told the corruption trial of former chief secretary Rafael Hui and two of the Kwok brothers of SHKP that their older brother was involved in arranging rent-free accommodation for Hui.

Former minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung said he was aware in 2005 of Hui's work for developer's parent company, but not for its joint venture which bid for the West Kowloon job.

The wife of Rafael Hui Si-yan discussed with a Sun Hung Kai Properties representative in 2001 how to fit out two luxury Happy Valley flats developed by the property giant, the High Court heard yesterday.

Rafael Hui did not declare to the MPFA chairman two loans totalling HK$2.4 million he obtained from a SHKP subsidiary just before and after becoming authority managing director, a court heard yesterday.

When the MPF authority voted to renew its lease at SHKP development One IFC, Rafael Hui, at the time the authority's managing director, made no declaration of interest, the Court of First Instance was told yesterday.

Principal officials appointed by the chief executive would be expected to have private sector connections, the corruption trial involving ex-chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan heard yesterday.

Sun Hung Kai Properties threatened to pull out of its Ma Wan Park project as it pressed the government to relax a stipulation that most journeys to the development would be by ferry, the High Court heard yesterday.

A "golden yacht model" that former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan received from a top Guangdong official wasn't real gold, Hui's one-time assistant told the Court of First Instance yesterday.

Rafael Hui did meet with a SHKP co-chairman over a project on Ma Wan, but there was nothing unusual about the city's second-highest government officer meeting property developers, a corruption trial heard yesterday.

Billions of dollars paid in property transactions have been put at risk by a delay in passing a law that enacts a doubling of stamp duties, lawyers warn.

Rafael Hui led a committee to make a deliberate decision to suppress the fact that a joint venture involving SHKP was the most popular proponent for an arts hub project, a corruption trial heard yesterday.

Planned arts and cultural facilities at the West Kowloon arts hub were projected in 2005 to incur losses of up to HK$300 million a year, a corruption trial involving Rafael Hui heard yesterday.

Rafael Hui was one of only two members of the steering committee for the West Kowloon Cultural District project allowed to take away a confidential document from the committee offices, the Court of First Instance heard yesterday.

A senior executive of SHKP was "shocked" to learn in 2005 that plans for a theme park on Ma Wan island might not be approved by the government even though the Town Planning Board had given them the nod two years earlier.

The mother of former Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung was concerned that he may have been influenced by "outsiders", the Court of First Instance heard yesterday.

Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan did not exert influence on a transport official who was handling a request by SHKP to change policies on the mode of transport servicing Ma Wan, a corruption trial heard yesterday.

SHKP persuaded the Transport Department to allow buses as well as ferries to serve its development on Ma Wan in the 1990s, the corruption trial involving the firm's co-chairmen and a former government No 2 heard yesterday.

A man who, as a teenager, sexually assaulted his triplet sisters when they were aged between 10 and 13 years old was jailed for five years yesterday for what a judge described as a serious crime that attracted public disgust.

A captain involved in the National Day ferry collision that killed 39 passengers almost two years ago has received court permission to hire a Queen's Counsel to fight his case against manslaughter in November.

A former Law Society president staged a small-scale demonstration of mostly non-lawyers in Central yesterday to counter a march by about 1,800 legal professionals voicing their discontent with Beijing's white paper.

A record number of lawyers took to the streets yesterday to protest against Beijing's white paper that they say jeopardises judicial independence, a value that sets Hong Kong apart from the rest of the country.

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A long-time friend of Rafael Hui did not ask questions before helping him transfer funds because he believed Hui would never engage in illegal activities, the Court of First Instance heard.

Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan was open-handed in treating people to meals, a high-profile corruption trial involving two tycoons heard yesterday.

The sister-in-law of an alleged go-between in the corruption trial involving former government official Rafael Hui Si-yan and the co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties testified for the prosecution yesterday.

Lawyer for SHKP executive says Chan had 'plenty' of money in his own company's account; payment to Singapore company was 'investment'.

The lawyer for a SHKP executive brushed off claims yesterday that his client was part of an "elaborate disguise" by which the Kwok brothers arranged to funnel millions of dollars to Hong Kong's former No 2 official.

Corruption trial shown video of former No 2 official dismissing suggestion that relationship with Sun Hung Kai Properties might affect his performance as chief secretary.

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The prosecution has alleged that Rafael Hui received tens of millions of dollars from SHKP co-chairmen Raymond and Thomas Kwok, and two others, to be the property magnate's "inside man" in the government.

The chief executive did not reveal income from Jones Lang LaSalle, DTZ and his own firm despite being an Exco member, court is told on Friday, as trial focuses on whether members were expected to disclose interests.

Executive councillors are trusted to declare conflicts of interest to ensure "impartial and fair" policymaking, the trial of former chief secretary and Exco member Rafael Hui Si-yan was told yesterday.

Rafael Hui Si-yan and the Kwok brothers were arrested 10 days after graft-busters recovered a note from the home of an alleged go-between that showed he had been pondering the severity of the penalty he would receive if convicted, the court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors of the city's most high-profile corruption trial said yesterday that they hoped a lengthy trial loaded with an elaborate scheme to mask an alleged money trail would not be too daunting for the jury.

The Kwok brothers paid Rafael Hui Si-yan HK$4.7 million to act as their "ears and eyes" just five hours before he was sworn in as chief secretary in 2005, the High Court was told yesterday.

The trial of two of the city's wealthiest tycoons and Hong Kong's former No 2 government official resumes today after a shaky start last week.

Prosecutors in the corruption trial involving a former No 2 official in the Hong Kong government and two of the city's wealthiest tycoons are expected to open their case today after a second jury was empanelled yesterday.

Public access to government information is key to keeping officials accountable as it can deter and expose impropriety, a former UK information monitor says.

The Legal Aid Department's decision-making process is impenetrable when it comes to whether or not it grants funding for criminal appeals, a vice-president of the Law Society says.

The Legal Aid Department has been using an erroneously harsh test to vet applications for civil legal aid and created wrongly for itself a discretionary power to decide when to grant funding, the Bar Association says.

A security guard stabbed his girlfriend to death after he found out she had shown an interest in a man they worked with who was almost 10 years his junior, the High Court heard yesterday.

Two Falun Gong members had their constitutional right to freedom of expression breached when Food and Environmental Hygiene Department officers removed banners the group displayed on the streets, their lawyer told the High Court yesterday.

A Court of Appeal judge has called for reform of criminal justice procedures in the wake of a lengthy fraud case that squandered taxpayers' money. Mr Justice Frank Stock passed the damning criticism on a District Court trial that had been set for 50 days, but stretched out to 128 days spanning more than five years.

The government is set to get a HK$30 million legal bill after a businessman and four other people cleared of blackmail were awarded costs. Deputy High Court judge Madam Clare-Marie Beeson made the order yesterday despite an assertion by the prosecutor that Koon Wing-yee, 57, had brought suspicion on himself.

The Immigration Department was ordered to pay HK$10,000 compensation to a serial overstayer for detaining him 10 days longer than he should have been. The Court of Final Appeal unanimously ruled 10 days of Pakistani Ghulam Rbani's six-week detention was caused by a delay on the part of the department, constituting false imprisonment.

A mainland businessman claiming to be the former lover of Phoenix TV presenter Shen Xing was yesterday given a suspended jail term and fined HK$100,000 after bombarding the anchor with calls and messages.

An anonymous letter of complaint written in English triggered the investigation that ended with one-time high-flyer Carson Yeung Ka-sing behind bars yesterday. Police disclosed this as the hairdresser-turned-businessman and owner of English soccer club Birmingham City started a six-year jail term for money-laundering.

The Birmingham City boss, who was found guilty of laundering HK$721 million using five Hong Kong bank accounts, is expected to be given a custodial sentence on Friday.

A judge who did not understand Chinese was wrong to declare "King of Shoes" Patrick Tang Kim-kwan the owner of a flat he bought for a former mistress, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

There's a silver lining to privacy scandals that have tarnished the reputations of businesses worldwide - they have prompted many to reconsider their approach to data protection.

PCCW has launched a legal fight to overturn a controversial government decision to shake up the telecommunications sector by claiming back a third of the city's 3G mobile spectrum and auctioning it off later this year.

A mainland businessman claiming to be the former lover of Phoenix TV presenter Shen Xing is back in hot water: she now wants him jailed for allegedly breaking a promise made to the court by bombarding her with calls and messages.

Blackmail was not the reason the former chairman of a listed company transferred 100 million shares in 2009; rather it was part of his own plot to inflate the value of his company's stocks, the High Court heard yesterday.

A judge has branded the Medical Council lazy over "woeful" delays by its health committee in holding a hearing on a case involving a doctor who injected himself with anaesthetic.

The two brothers charged with trying to extort HK$100,000 from the crew of the film Transformers: Age of Extinction when they were filming in Hong Kong pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

Businesswoman Lily Chiang Lai-lei vented her frustration yesterday after judges denied her plea to appeal to the top court against a conviction over a HK$3 million share-option scam for which she was jailed for 3-1/2 years.

"Milkshake murderer" Nancy Kissel's bid to take her appeal to Hong Kong's top court has been refused. Kissel's conviction for murdering her high-flying banker husband was upheld last month by the Court of Appeal, but she had been waiting for the same court to rule on whether she could take her case to the Court of Final Appeal.