HKSAR v. VU QUANG THAT

CACC000049/1997

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

1997, No.49
(Criminal)

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BETWEEN
HKSAR
AND
VU QUANG-THAT

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Coram: Hon. Power, V.-P., Mortimer, V.-P. and Liu, J.A.

Date of hearing: 5 August 1997

Date of judgment: 5 August 1997

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J U D G M E N T

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Power, V.-P.(giving the judgment of the Court):

1. The applicant faced one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence. It was particularized that on 31st May 1996 at Choi Tak Container Services Limited, Lot 771, D.D. No.125, Ping Ha Road, Lau Fau Shan, he had in his possession a firearm, namely one Type 51 semi-automatic pistol in 7.62 mm calibre andeight rounds of 7.62mm calibre ammunition without a licence. On 17th January this year, he was found guilty after trial before Pang J. and a jury and sentenced to imprisonment for nine years. He nowappeals against that conviction.

2. The prosecution case was a simple one. A police party was keeping a container at the site mentioned in the particulars of the chargeunder observation. According to the police evidence, and I take this outline of evidence from the summing up:

“And suddenly one of the doors of the container opened and the defendant was seen coming out from the container and he was holdinga plastic bag, which is Exhibit P7, with a floral pattern in his right hand. On seeing the police,t he defendant dropped the plasticbag and tried to run away. The bag and its contents landed on a wooden plank. You will see the wooden plank from the pictures aswell.

The Detective Station Sergeant went forward to hold on to the defendant. The second witness, 7988, picked up the plastic bag and theyall revealed their police identity to the defendant. 7988 took out an object from the bag and it was wrapped by a black sock. Hetook out the object from the sock and it was wrapped in a white plastic bag. He removed the plastic bag and noticed that it was apistol-like object, that is Exhibit P3. 7988 then arrested and handcuffed the defendant. He asked the defendant what it was. Thedefendant did not say anything. The defendant was cautioned and he made no reply.”

That was the police evidence. The applicant when he gave evidence denied all knowledge of the gun. He said that the police had producedit without it ever having been in his possession and had then suggested that he had been found holding it. The jury in coming totheir conclusion of guilt clearly rejected the evidence of the applicant and accepted that of the police officers.

3. In his written grounds, the applicant in effect once again states that the police fabricated the case against him and that he wastelling the truth when he said that he had never had the gun in his possession. Before us today, he has repeated that he was falselyaccused by the police. He suggested that a person who had pistol with him with the intention to use it to rob would hardly be soeasily arrested by the police. He again submits that all of the answers which he gave in evidence were true and that if they werebelieved he would inevitably have to be acquitted of the offence. His trial was inevitably one that had to be resolved by the juryas it was simply a matter of fact, either the jury accept the police evidence or they believed his evidence or at least had a reasonabledoubt as to whether his evidence might be true. The issues were simple ones. They were decided by the jury who came to the conclusionthat guilt had been established. Nothing has been raised that would allow us to interfere with that decision. The application forleave to appeal against conviction must, therefore, be dismissed.

(N.P. Power)
Vice-President
(Barry Mortimer)
Vice-President
(B. Liu)
Justice of Appeal

Representation:

Ms. Mary Sin, S.A.D.P.P. (D.P.P.) for the Respondent.

Applicant in person.