Leung Chun-ying

Businessman Lew Mon-hung summoned to ICAC over letter to CY Leung

Businessman and former ally of chief executive questioned at graft-buster's HQ for five hours

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 February, 2013, 7:40am

Pro-Beijing businessman Lew Mon-hung, a former ally of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, was called to the ICAC's headquarters yesterday.

Lew went to the graft-busters's office in North Point to be questioned for allegedly perverting the course of justice.

The case is believed to be related to a letter purportedly written by Lew to Leung on January 9, asking the chief executive to step in and stop a probe by the Independent Commission Against Corruption against him after he was arrested the day before.

Lew reportedly said in the letter the investigation was a "groundless persecution".

Lew reportedly said in the letter the investigation was a "groundless persecution"

He said he would hit back by "igniting a political bomb" if Leung did not grant his request to suggest that ICAC Commissioner Simon Peh Yun-lu handle Lew's case with care. Lew has neither confirmed nor denied media reports that he had asked Leung to stop the investigation.

Lew was arrested by the ICAC on January 8 in a case involving his listed company, Pearl Oriental Oil, of which he is vice-chairman.

Pearl Oriental Oil confirmed on January 29 that Lew, its chairman Wong Yuk-kwan, executive director Cheung Kwok-yu and an administrative manager had been questioned by the ICAC about an investigation into alleged offences under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. They were released on bail.

It was not clear last night whether Lew had been arrested or only invited in for questioning.

A spokesman for the graft-buster said he would not comment on the case.

Lew left ICAC headquarters at 7.15pm after about five hours inside. Usually confident and outspoken, Lew shied away from the cameras and tried to conceal his face behind a car seat. He did not respond to questions and was driven straight back to his flat in One Silver Sea, Tai Kok Tsui.

Lew could not be reached last night. The Chief Executive's Office declined to comment.

The businessman, who fled to Hong Kong from Dongguan in 1973, beginning his working life as a factory floor cleaner. He has been at the centre of a political saga that erupted last month when he made explosive allegations in an interview with iSun Affairs magazine.

Lew - stripped of his seat on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference last month - said Leung had reneged on a promise to appoint him to the Executive Council. He also said Leung regarded pan-democrats as "the enemy".