Lew obstruction appeal rejected by top court

Local | Jane Cheung 12 Jun 2019

Businessman Lew Mon-hung had the obvious intention of perverting the course of justice by threatening then-chief executive Leung Chun-ying and Independent Commission Against Corruption chief Simon Peh Yun-lu in attempting to stop an investigation involving himself, according to the Court of Final Appeal.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, Court of Final Appeal permanent judges Robert Ribeiro, Joseph Fok and Andrew Cheung Kui-nung and non-permanent judge Murray Gleeson explained the rationale for their rejection of Lew's appeal application.

In 2013, Lew was arrested by the ICAC for bribery offenses in connection with his company Pearl Oriental Oil.

Lew, nicknamed "Dream Bear," sent e-mails and letters to Leung and Peh asking them to "make careful considerations from a political and from the overall perspective and urgently halt the groundless persecution" against him.

The ICAC then charged Lew for perverting the course of justice and he was subsequently jailed.

Lew's lawyer has said the prosecution could not prove Leung and Peh had the legal power to terminate the investigation, so Lew's efforts should not constitute attempts to pervert the course of justice.

In response, Cheung wrote: "Given the unique constitutional and legal position of the chief executive, he is undoubtedly in a position to influence or otherwise affect the commissioner and, through the commissioner, his officers' handling of the investigation.

"In my view, what he can do [if he wants to or is forced to] would be quite sufficient to constitute a tendency to pervert the course of justice, particularly when one remembers that the attempt to pervert the course of justice needs not be successful."

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