Body-in-cement murder case

Man told police he urged flatmates to hand themselves in over body-in-cement murder, Hong Kong court hears 

But Tsang Cheung-yan’s attempt to get co-accused to surrender did not come until after he agreed to help dispose of corpse ‘any way they wanted’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 7:34am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2018, 7:33am

One of three flatmates accused of murdering an acquaintance and burying his body in cement said he tried to talk the other two into handing themselves in to police, a Hong Kong court heard on Tuesday.

But Tsang Cheung-yan’s attempts to get them all to surrender did not come until after he had agreed with Keith Lau and Cheung Sin-hang to use “whatever ways they wanted” to dispose of the body, the High Court heard.

“I will help,” Tsang told them in regards to the disposal. 

The three men, Tsang, 28, Lau, 23, and Cheung, 26, denied murdering Cheung Man-li, 28, in their Tsuen Wan flat on March 4, 2016.

Prosecutors said someone attacked Cheung Man-li, also known as Ah J, with chloroform at Flat 9D of the DAN6 industrial building before Tsang injected alcohol into the victim. And after his death, the trio buried him in a slab of concrete. They have pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful burial of Ah J’s body.

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The court heard that after their arrest, the trio gave several interviews to police. On Tuesday, the interviews with Tsang were played to the panel of seven jurors for a second day.

Tsang told officers that after Ah J was killed, the trio began talking about how to deal with the body, with his flatmates proposing to cut it up or hide it in cement.

“I will help to do whatever ways you guys want to deal with it,” Tsang said he told the pair. He then told police: “I suggested why not just give ourselves in.”

But Tsang claimed he received a lukewarm response. “They did not pay attention to me,” he said.

Tsang said they bought four wooden boards to build a box, which both he and police officers referred to as the “concrete coffin”. He said the three poured the first batch of cement in as the base, before inserting Ah J’s body in the early hours of March 5.

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Lau then flew to Singapore for a street dance competition, while Tsang and Cheung Sin-hang continued to work on the slab of cement, he said.

Tsang claimed that it was Lau who murdered Ah J, prompting a police officer to ask, if that were the case, why he and Cheung continued after Lau left.

“He started it and was here for half of it,” Tsang said, referring to Lau. “It was as if we [Tsang and Cheung] had gone crazy, that we needed to put an end to the matter.”

The officers also showed Tsang receipts and cheques revealing he owed Ah J millions of dollars. But Tsang said he had either paid back the loans, or that they were props to make others pay for what he and Ah J called investment projects.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung on Wednesday.