A South Asian man claiming to be a victim of human trafficking and forced labour told a court on Tuesday that he had faith in the Hong Kong government and hoped the authorities could help him get his unpaid wages. The man – whose name, nationality and occupation cannot be revealed for legal reasons – said on the first day of a hearing that he had worked for more than three years under a standard domestic helper contract but that his employer continually put off paying him. His employer’s family had also ill-treated and beat him “many times”. “I thought the Hong Kong government would help me to get back my money and punish [my employer and his family],” he said through an interpreter. He is seeking a judicial review against the Immigration Department, police and the Labour Department after the authorities allegedly failed to investigate his complaints and protect him as a victim of human trafficking. It is further claimed these failures were systematic and occurred primarily because of the absence of a legislative framework to prevent human trafficking or protect victims. The man was illegally put to work by the employer on commercial premises where he was required to live from 2007 to 2010. READ MORE: I’m not biased: Hong Kong judge Kevin Zervos refuses to step down from landmark human trafficking review He said he was repeatedly beaten and threatened, while being told that he could not leave his job unless he paid back the substantial sums of money allegedly spent by the employer in bringing him from his home country to Hong Kong. Throughout the time the employer retained his passport. The South Asian said he was promised a wage of HK$4,000 a month – several times more than his pay back in his home town. He came illegally to Hong Kong to press his claim against the employer for his unpaid wages in April 2012, about 16 months after he was sent back to his home country. “My reason for coming back to Hong Kong is to recover my pay,” he said. The hearing continues before High Court judge Mr Justice Kevin Zervos, who was asked by the government to remove himself from hearing the case last year. READ MORE: Hong Kong is the ‘destination, transit, and source’ of human trafficking: US demands more be done Zervos refused to accept the unprecedented recusal request stemming from “the positive stance” he took in combating human trafficking when he was the city’s top prosecutor. In his decision handed down last November, one month after the Department of Justice asked him to step down because of “apparent bias”, Zervos said his actions as director of public prosecutions (DPP) between 2011 and 2013 were “consistent with the claimed objectives” of the government and part of the job. “The fair-minded and informed observer is not without common sense and would view my actions and statements in the past as being general in nature, in relation to my duties as the DPP, in addressing the problem of human trafficking,” he wrote.