Ex-Hong Kong deputy economic development secretary in court with Macau businesswoman for flat-swapping deal

Both Wilson Fung Wing-yip and Chan Ung-iok released on bail as court documents reveal prosecutors have enlisted 14 witnesses, including eight civilians, and gathered 1,445 pages of documentary exhibits

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 12:44pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 September, 2018, 11:00pm

A former deputy secretary who is the husband of a high-ranking Hong Kong official on Tuesday made his first court appearance alongside a Macau businesswoman after they were charged over a flat-swapping deal.

Wilson Fung Wing-yip, 55, the former deputy secretary for economic development and labour, stood rubbing his fingers as he heard the allegations against him at Eastern Court.

The husband of Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, the head of the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office, Fung has been charged with one count of a public servant accepting an advantage and another of misconduct in public office.

Beside him stood Chan Ung-iok, 62, sister-in-law of gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, accused of offering an advantage to a public servant.

Prosecutors alleged Wilson Fung, when serving as the Economic Development and Labour Bureau’s deputy secretary, received HK$510,000 (US$65,000) from Chan, who oversaw three companies, on or about September 28, 2004.

The sum was said to be the initial deposit money for his purchase of a property at One Robinson Place on Robinson Road in Mid-Levels.

Yet Fung, according to prosecutors, failed to declare his acceptance as well as a conflict of interest in connection with his handling and processing of various applications made by Chan’s three companies: Helicopters Hong Kong, Hong Kong Express Airways and Heli Express.

Prosecutors said the advantage of HK$510,000 served as an inducement to, or reward for, Fung being favourably disposed to Chan or her three companies.

Both defendants indicated they understood the charges.

Neither was required to enter a plea as prosecutors applied to transfer the case to the higher-level District Court, with Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen granting the application.

Fung and Chan were released on HK$100,000 and HK$80,000 bail respectively, on the condition that they do not directly or indirectly contact any of the prosecution witnesses.

Court documents revealed prosecutors had enlisted 14 witnesses, including eight civilians, and gathered 1,445 pages of documentary exhibits.

The case is adjourned to September 18.

“You will have to attend the District Court on September 18,” Law advised. “Otherwise there will be another criminal offence.”

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According to an earlier statement released by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Wilson Fung was the bureau’s head of its aviation division at the time of his alleged offence. In that role, he was responsible for air service negotiations, the designation of carriers and the allocation of air traffic rights.

Since August 2010, he served as the executive director of the Airport Authority’s corporate development.

But last Friday the authority suspended Fung with immediate effect following news of his prosecution.