There was a danger in a “wide” money laundering offence, a lawyer representing former English Premier League soccer chairman Carson Yeung Ka-sing, who was convicted of laundering more than HK$700 million, told the city’s top court on Tuesday. Clare Montgomery QC, in making submissions for Yeung’s appeal against his conviction on the first day of a hearing at the Court of Final Appeal, noted that the approach of the city’s courts to deciding culpability in money laundering had departed from the United Kingdom’s framework, on which the Hong Kong legal system is based. In March 2014, Yeung, a hairdresser-turned-businessman, was jailed for six years on five charges of laundering HK$721 million through five bank accounts at Wing Lung Bank and HSBC between 2001 and 2007. Timeline: The trial of Carson Yeung During the previous trial, the court heard that from 2001, various parties made deposits into the accounts. Some were made by securities firms and a Macau casino while others were made by unknown parties. More than 400 deposits, totaling over HK$97 million, were made in cash. It was alleged that the businessman dealt with all of the funds deposited to these bank accounts, and that he knew or had “reasonable grounds to believe” that those funds, in whole or in part, represented the “proceeds of an indictable offence”. Yeung was later granted leave to appeal at the top court based on legal questions about whether the prosecution had to prove the predicate offence in a charge of money laundering and what the mental element of a charge of such offence was. Carson Yeung freed on bail after Hong Kong court allows him to appeal dirty-money conviction On Tuesday, Montgomery argued that there was a “real danger” if culpability were to be decided based on circumstances that might merely give rise to “belief”. The lawyer said it was necessary to distinguish “actual proceeds” from “notional proceeds”. Court of Final Appeal judge Mr Justice Roberto Ribeiro asked what the prosecution was required to prove in money laundering offences. Montgomery said the circumstances of the dealings, and whether they were operated in a shadowy and skilful way, should be taken into account. But Jonathan Caplan QC, for the Hong Kong government, argued that, given the difficulty in proving money laundering offences, there were compelling reasons for the court to adopt the current approach. The hearing continues.