Prominent businessman Lew Mon-hung, who was acquitted in a High Court trial last month, is waiting for his assets to be unfrozen so that he would have the money to hire lawyers for another criminal case which accuses him of seeking influence from the chief executive and a former top graft-buster. Appearing for Lew on a pro bono basis today, senior counsel Joseph Tse Wah-yuen told the District Court that a bid to strike out an injunction order on his client’s wealth was to be processed between July and August. Tse indicated to the court that after securing the fund, Lew, 65, would hire senior counsel John Reading for the current case, which was previously adjourned due to Lew’s High Court hearing. Lew faces one count of committing acts “tending or intended to pervert the course of public justice”, in that the former deputy chairman and executive director of Pearl Oriental Oil sent two emails and a letter to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the then head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Simon Peh Yun-lu, trying to get them to stop an ICAC investigation against him or others. The alleged event took place in January 2013. But Lew’s plan was barred by judge Stanley Chan Kwong-chi’s reluctance to have the case heard in English, which, he contended, might cause further delay to the hearing. Chan said to translate the documents, originally intended to be used in a Cantonese trial, would require additional time. “We might wait until 2047,” Chan said, noting that Reading will also not be available until January next year. After hearing Lew’s choice would either be Reading or Tse, who speaks Cantonese but is also not available until December, he said: “There are more than 100 senior counsels in Hong Kong.” Chan said he respected the defendant’s right to choose his legal representative, but noted that some defendants would abuse legal procedures by switching trial language at the last minute. He also said Lew’s agreement with Reading was not confirmed. He set the trial date for January 4, after learning that it is likely Tse would represent Lew. Dressed in a dark blue suit, Lew smiled to a pack of journalists as he left court and boarded a taxi with a friend.