Former top official Wilson Fung has been found guilty of misconduct in public office over the acceptance of HK$510,000 from Macau businesswoman Cheyenne Chan, but has been acquitted on a charge of accepting an advantage as a public servant.
Chan is a sister-in-law of casino mogul Stanley Ho.
The judge said that Fung was a senior government official when he accepted the money, and it is impossible that he didn’t know that his act amounted to conflict of interest.
However, Fung decided to lie and cover up the fact that he knew Chan was a director and shareholder of the aviation companies, and he did not disclose his acceptance of the money.
Fung has been remanded into custody pending sentencing on September 12.
The prosecution had alleged that the money was a “sweetener” for Fung, who was a former deputy secretary for economic development and labour, to be favourably disposed to Chan's three airline and helicopter companies when they applied for air traffic rights and had requested for an expansion of landing sites in 2004.
Fung and Chan had denied any wrongdoing, saying they were engaged in an intimate extramarital relationship then and were investing in properties.
In handing down his verdict, District Court judge Douglas Yau said the money might be a small sum to Chan, who did not have any financial burden.
He said it’s therefore possible that the offering of the HK$510,000 was completely unrelated to their jobs, because Chan was merely thankful to Fung for the money he helped her gain in property transactions and she wanted to share it with him.
Yau added that if Chan wanted to please him on purpose, she could’ve bought him an expensive watch on the mainland or Macau, and there’s no need for her to “leave any footprint” by offering him cash.
Chan, therefore, was also acquitted of a charge of offering an advantage to a public servant.
Last updated: 2019-08-14 HKT 11:31