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Pang's sisters call for ICAC probe over evidence

Justin Mitchell

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Questions about Annie Pang are still being raised, despite a unanimous coroner's inquest verdict that ruled her 1995 death was due to an accident or misadventure.

Disappointed with Tuesday's verdict, two of Pang's sisters, Pang Ngor Vee and Pang Po-yuk, with legislator Leung Yiu-chung filed a complaint with the Independent Commission Against Corruption Wednesday asking that the ICAC investigate why a condom found among the debris in a trash bin containing Pang's skull was not tested for DNA and to probe why a set of keys that were photographed by police in her flat were never seen again after the photo was taken. "We found it quite strange that some of the evidence was missing," Leung said. He was contacted about a year ago by the family asking for help, he said.

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He and the family are concerned about an allegedly phony letter of employment that lawyer John Fang - Pang's former lover and the man who owned the death flat - wrote for Pang in 1988 enabling her to buy a flat on Jaffe Road for HK$400,000, mortgage for HK$450,000, and later sell for HK$1.24 million. Fang is the brother of former chief secretary Anson Chan.

Mary Jean Reimer, a pro bono solicitor for the Pang family during the noncriminal inquest, attempted to link Fang and others to criminal behavior in the proceedings; attempts that were often reined in and recast by coroner Colin Mackintosh. Reimer at one point tried to prove that Fang used Pang as a front to speculate on property.

Fang agreed that the Jaffe Road transaction took place and said that he was "most likely" the actual owner and "could have also given" Pang a share of the profit.

The questions of the condom and the keys were also dealt with at some length. Essentially, Joyce Kwok, an evidence officer who has since retired, said she probably did not test the condom because she was unable to extract DNA from anything in the filthy 300-square- foot flat in which Pang's remains were found. Even Pang's bones yielded no DNA and Kwok said she had no memory or specific record of the mysterious condom as most evidence, notes and files were destroyed according to standard police procedure after the case was closed in March 2001.

Police Senior Inspector Kwok Hing- cheung testified that he had no explanation for why a set of keys photographed on a floor near the flat entrance were never seized as evidence and subsequently vanished.

A former boyfriend of Pang's (not Fang) testified that he thought he recognized the keys, tied together with blue thread, as Pang's.

Reimer said she knew nothing of the ICAC complaint until contacted by The Standard and that she was "neutral" concerning the verdict. "I have nothing to do with [the ICAC complaint]," she said.

Dee Crebbin, a senior government counsel who served as coroner's officer in the inquiry, said: "I think it was a very justified verdict based on the evidence. The jury clearly rejected any question of unlawful killing. The evidence supports this verdict. And anything that happened during the police investigation. isn't relevant to the circumstances of her death."

Crebbin added that there are "perhaps more relevant organizations to deal with this" and, when asked, agreed that the Complaints Against Police Office might be one.


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