Saturday, 12 November 2016

Two Cities, Two Trials

Ho Chio-meng will be facing 1,970 charges against him next month
Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will be facing three charges against him in a trial by jury that starts in January.

But that's nothing compared to Macau's former top prosecutor who will face almost 2,000 criminal charges when he appears in court next month.

Ho Chio-meng was prosecutor general, equivalent to Hong Kong's director of public prosecutions, from 1999 to 2014.

Former CE Donald Tsang will be going on trial in January
He was even tipped to become Macau's chief executive, but that possibility has been dashed, as Ho is accused of 1,970 charges, including initiating or founding a criminal syndicate, fraud, money laundering, unlawful economic advantage, abuse of power, and forging documents. He also faces a charge of "damaging goods under his domain".

An investigation into alleged corruption and kickbacks involving at least HK$44 million has led to the arrest of more than 70 suspects to date.

Ho and others will face trial on December 5.

Since his arrest in February when he tried to board a ferry to Hong Kong, Ho has been locked up in the same prison annexe as disgraced former public works secretary Ao Man-long, who is serving a 27-year term and is the highest ranking public official ever convicted of corruption in Macau. If convicted, Ho will be the second.

Rafael Hui is serving a 7 1/2 year sentence for taking bribes
There was a three-year investigation into Tsang's case, and he is the highest ranking government official in Hong Kong to face a corruption trial. His deputy Rafael Hui Si-yan was jailed for seven years in 2014 for taking bribes worth HK$34 million from Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen. Thomas Kwok is serving a five-year sentence.

No doubt residents in both Hong Kong and Macau will be watching both trials closely...

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