IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
CRIMINAL CASE NO 499 OF 2013
Transcript of the Audio Recording
COURT: There may be a variety of reasons why a jury will acquit a defendant following a criminal trial. On Thursday, which was 12 February2015, the jury acquitted Lau Long-kin of murder. He faced trial on that charge exclusively on the evidence that this defendant, KwongChun-hin, was able to give against him. I have no means of knowing on what basis the jury reached their verdict, but I am preparedto assume that they felt unable to say that they were sure that the prosecution had proved its case.
Whatever the reason, I have seen this defendant give evidence and I am satisfied that he was doing his best to tell the jury the wholetruth of what lay behind the killing of Tse Chi-shing.
It is probably very difficult for a jury to convict solely on the evidence of someone who was an admitted triad member at the timeof these events. The reality is that there was no independent supporting evidence of any kind.
In a strange way, perhaps what has happened to the defendant in this case is the best thing that could have happened. I say this becausein 2013 he was gradually being surrounded by highly undesirable characters. Your promising start in life as a champion schoolboyThai boxer was being strangled by those dark and dangerous figures who had come into your life. You can only blame yourself for lettingthat happen. However, there is now a chance for you to start afresh. I think there is every prospect that you will make a successof it and I do not propose to delay that process even by one day.
I have already indicated that I intend to impose a sentence that will give you immediate release today. I realise that there are specialarrangements to be made, so I will simply allow those to take their course.
The sentence takes into account the fact that in addition to the 6 months you have been in prison custody, you have been in policecustody for about 15 months. The true terminology is “protective custody”, but it does mean that by prison rules those monthsin protective custody cannot count towards your sentence. Accordingly, you have actually been in custody, one way or the other, forabout 21 months.
The sentence today is one of 6 months’ imprisonment.