The High Court has found an article that questioned former lawmaker Chim Pui-chung’s soccer World Cup betting formula and sharing of the “winning strategy” with television viewers to be “disparaging” and awarded him HK$100,000 in compensation plus legal costs. Ruling in Chim’s favour, deputy High Court judge Anson Wong Man-kit said he was unable to accept that the author and the newspaper sued by the businessman were under any moral or social duty to publish the article in question. In response, Chim, 71, said: “All I want is justice ... I hope the press can be more prudent [before publishing an article].” The financial adviser sued Leung Pak-kin and Apple Daily – the Chinese-language newspaper that ran Leung’s column – for defamation over an article published during the 2014 World Cup. The columnist described Chim as a “fool” after the former legislator had claimed on a TV talk show aired on the now-defunct Asia Television that punters could win if they bet on draws. Chim claimed that football gamblers would eventually cover their losses with the next bet’s winnings if they doubled their stakes after any failed bet. During the trial, barrister Jeffrey Li, who represented the columnist and the newspaper, suggested that the words used in the article were just an “attempt at poking fun” at Chim. But Wong rejected the lawyer’s argument and noted that Chim, as a businessman and financial adviser, was expected to be trustworthy and to have sound judgment in making business decisions. “To call [Chim] a fool and a stupid guy and to say that his betting formula is so incredible that anyone following it is bound to suffer huge loss [would], in my judgment, have the effect of discrediting [him],” Wong wrote in his judgment handed down on Friday. The judge also found there were no arguments given in support of a case that the “formula” was not viable. Wong ruled that the columnist’s comments on Chim were not supported by facts. He also rejected the defendants’ suggestion that they owed the public a moral or social duty to publish the article. “Even if there was any moral or social duty on the part of the defendants to warn the public of the risks associated with gambling in accordance with the formula, it clearly exceeds the scope of such duty for [Leung] to use football gambling as a backdrop to make remarks which carry with them defamatory imputation against the personality [of Chim],” the judge said.