Often Partisan

The Carson Trial: Hong Kong Attorney General Hires Top QC

News has emerged from Hong Kong in the last few hours that Carson Yeung isn’t the only person to hire a top barrister for his appeal hearing on Wednesday. It’s emerged that the Attorney General in HK has retained top barrister Jonathan Caplan QC of Riverside Chambers to represent the prosecution.

Apple Daily reports (in Cantonese) that John Reading SC, who was the lead counsel for the prosecution during the trial has noted his annoyance at the move as he believes it’s a waste of public funds and is contrary to local ordinances which state that priority should be given to local lawyers.

It’s an interesting move and possibly shows that the Hong Kong Department of Justice is concerned that Carson has brought in a superstar barrister of his own, Clare Montgomery QC. While I can understand Reading’s frustration at being replaced – and his concern for the costs involved – I think it was inevitable that the DoJ had to react to protect their win.

I’m no lawyer but I did see a lot of the trial first hand and I remember being amazed at the way Carson was cross-examined on the stand. As much as the way the money laundering law was intepreted allowed for a slam dunk victory it seemed that there was no real effort from the prosecution to actually prove where any of the money involved came from. The judgement in the recent Pang Hung Fai case in the Court of Final Appeal made the point that it wasn’t fair to put such a tactical burden of proof onto the defence and questioned the way the “reasonable man” test was being applied – something that is very much applicable in Carson’s case and that questions the validity of his conviction.

From our perspective, I think this is probably good news if you are concerned Carson might win his appeal as it will make it less likely; in saying that I don’t think he has a chance anyway – Court of Appeal Judge Mr Justice Michael Lunn said as much himself in the South China Morning Post in January. However, I think it shows that the HK authorities are determined to keep him inside and I guess the hope has to be that translates to other regulatory bodies in how they deal with his actions.

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15 Responses to “The Carson Trial: Hong Kong Attorney General Hires Top QC”

  • AussieBlue says:

    John Reading’s comment about not choosing ‘local’ QC is not entirely justified as Caplan has appeared in many cases in Hong Kong and Singapore. He certainly is a big gun and every bit a match for Ms Montgomery, if she is still on Carson’s case. With legal advisors such as Saddiq and Pannu hanging around, she may not want her name associated with such characters.
    The seriousness that the AG views this case with is demonstrated by this appointment and it could indicate that this is really all about attacking corruption and money-laundering in general and that Carson’s is a seminal test case. I wouldn’t want to be him under cross-examination by Caplan.

    • PeteBaldwin says:

      One of her high profile cases was trying to defend General Augusto Pinochet so I doubt she’s too bothered about Pannu!

      • richardm says:

        Wow, her parents must be so proud of her! Shame she wasn’t around for the Nurembourg trials, she could have filled her boots!

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    With his chances slim anyway it’s a statement of intent from the MoJ and demonstrates how steadfast they are in keeping CY under lock and key. With another legal challenge in the validity of his EGM cn the horizon i guess it sets a positive tone.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Question is where is the money coming from to pay CYs legal costs?

  • ChrisG says:

    If by some miracle he did win his appeal, what would that mean for BCFC?

  • Bluehobba says:

    “Slam dunk victory”….That’s quality. I like it..kro

  • rhees says:

    Very interesting all this if cy reputation is tainted enough to pull out the big guns to ensure conviction will this effect his chances of getting who he wants on the board so he can get rid of earnest and young??

    • Raymondo says:

      I think Ernst & Young were appointed by the court, If I remember correctly and CY and cronies will not be allowed to interfere with that. Again, I think that CY is afraid of what they might find and that’s why he is desperately trying to stop their investigations before they do. If, for instance they find proof positive of his money laundering all these appeals against conviction will be dead in the water and he knows it. Amazing point Saturday!KRO

    • almajir says:

      The two are nothing to do with each other.

  • zxcv says:

    Dan this blog got me thinking just what do we all want and by that I mean what do we want for our club? First thing to say is do we know what Carson will be basing his appeal on, will he turn up on Wednesday with a surprise piece of new evidence, or will it simply be a case of what he believes was unfair at his trial. If for example he claims to have not been given enough time to come up with the required evidence, and by some miracle the court did agree some things were not followed correctly then he could win the appeal. But winning in those circumstances could be the best possible outcome for us (bcfc). Why? well winning would/could only mean the judge ordering a retrial, now that would take us back to square one how the hell would he fund all that over again if he can`t even fund this appeal without a struggle?. Yes you`ve guessed it he would have no choice but to sell the club to raise funds for his freedom, that’s if the funds raised by the sale went to him at all, and in the mean time lets not forget the monies that have to go to the receivers for their work. My god what a head ache and at the end of all that he could still lose his new trial. Thoughts anyone.

  • Tony E says:

    Dan has stated previously that CYs backers, whoever they are, are still supporting him, presumably they are providing financial support.

  • rhees says:

    Carson is dirty and thinks he’s untouchable lets hope he falls hard

  • Art says:

    Couldn’t agree more and this is the problem.

    We are dealing with crooks who think like crooks-this is why on the business front the club is in such a mess.

    I also can’t understand why Brady and Co failed to work out where all the money was coming from to buy the club- or perhaps they did work it out!


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