Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying was on body-in-cement murder gang’s fantasy hit list, court hears
More details of ‘fantasy’ crime gang’s bounty list emerge as one of accused, Tsang Cheung-yan, continued testimony on Monday
Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying was on a made-up bounty list that surfaced during the trial of three housemates accused of murdering their acquaintance and burying his body in cement, a court heard on Monday.
But the life of the city’s former chief executive was worth just US$100,000 – 200 times less than the bounty put on the head of the murder victim, Cheung Man-li, alias “Ah J”, the High Court heard.
The details emerged as one of the accused, Tsang Cheung-yan, continued his testimony, after he told the court last week that the hit list – referred to as a “delete record list” – was conjured up by a bogus international crime group called “There” that he and his friends made up as a joke.
Cheung Man-li, 28, was on the list with a price tag of US$20 million, part of the reason which the prosecutors said had motivated Tsang, 28, Keith Lau, 23, and Cheung Sin-hang, 26, to murder him on March 4, 2016, at their flat in Tsuen Wan.
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While Tsang, a self-proclaimed member of “There”, insisted in court last week that the list – which included the likes of the Pope and the United States president – was a fantasy, Cheung Sin-hang told police in an interview played in court that Tsang told him those on the list were meant to be killed.
On Monday, defence counsel Steve Chui, for Cheung, brought up the list again, and suggested to Tsang that former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying was also on it.
Tsang agreed, but he maintained – as he did last Thursday – that those appearing on the list were not meant to be killed.
“[We] did not say Leung Chun-ying would be killed. This refers to the price he was worth,” he said.
Tsang, who has been in the witness box to deny the legitimacy of “There”, also said during the group’s meetings, the members would talk about blowing up tunnels, gaining control of atomic bombs, and being able to control a satellite.
“No one thought it was true,” Tsang said earlier.
Prosecutors said someone attacked Ah J in Flat 9D of the DAN6 industrial building with chloroform on the day of the offence, before Tsang injected him with alcohol. They then put the body in a home-made “concrete coffin”.
The trio has denied one count of murder, but pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful burial of Ah J’s body.
The court heard prior to the alleged murder, Tsang had called up a friend asking about where to buy chloroform. On Monday, he said he wanted to buy it because someone told him it could be used as glue for furniture.
Previously, the court also heard it was the Tsang and Lau’s plan, at least at one point, to rob Lau. Then, the three had come together to talk about how to handle Ah J’s body, including cutting up the corpse or throwing it at the sea.
“So you personally were aware that the possible result of that plan was the good chance of Ah J’s death at that stage,” prosecutor Richard Turnbull suggested to him, saying it was not a normal conversation to have.
“Well, then you have to say we are a group of people who are not normal,” Tsang replied, saying they were just talking hot air.
Tsang will continue to testify before Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung on Tuesday.