Chan Mei Yiu, Paddy And Others v Secretary For Justice And Another

CourtCourt of Final Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date19 Aug 2013
Judgement NumberFAMV28/2013
SubjectMiscellaneous Proceedings (Civil)
FAMV28/2013 CHAN MEI YIU, PADDY AND OTHERS v. SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE AND ANOTHER

FAMV No. 28 of 2013

IN THE COURT OF FINAL APPEAL OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDINGS NO. 28 OF 2013 (CIVIL)

(ON APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL
FROM CACV NO. 125 OF 2013)

____________________

BETWEEN

Chan Mei Yiu, Paddy 1st Applicant
Hsu May Chun, Katherine 2ndApplicant
Wiltshire Trading Limited 3rd Applicant
Harmony Gold Limited 4th Applicant
C S Secretaries Limited 5th Applicant
Loong Po Management Limited 6th Applicant
and
Secretary for Justice 1st Respondent
Commissioner of Police 2nd Respondent

____________________

Appeal Committee : Chief Justice Ma, Mr Justice Chan PJ and Mr Justice Tang PJ
Hearing and Determination : 9 August 2013
Date of Reasons for Determination : 19 August 2013

_____________________________________

REASONS FOR DETERMINATION

__________________________________

Chief Justice Ma and Mr Justice Chan PJ :

1. The applicants sought leave to appeal on both the point of law and substantial and grave injustice grounds.[1] The 1st and 2nd applicants are the shareholders and directors of the 3rd to 6th applicants. We dismissed the application after hearing Mr Martin Lee SC (for the applicants) with reasons to be handed down.

2. The application for leave marked the third round of proceedings instituted by these applicants following a Letter of Request issued on 10 July 2006 by the public prosecutor at the Milan Court to the Secretary for Justice (“SJ”) under the provisions of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance Cap 525 (“the Ordinance”).

3. In the Letter of Request which was later clarified by supplementary information, the public prosecutor requested the assistance of the SJ in relation to the prosecution and investigation of certain criminal offences in Italy. It was alleged that one Agrama, Berlusconi and others were involved in corrupt activities in the purchase and sale of broadcasting rights through bribery and at inflated prices and in the money laundering of the proceeds of such activities through Italian and Hong Kong companies which included the 3rd and 4th applicants.

4. Following the Letter of Request and upon an application made by the SJ (under s.12(2) of the Ordinance), search warrants were issued by a magistrate for the search of the residential premises of the 1st and 2nd applicants and the office premises of the 3rd to 6th applicants. As a result of these searches, a large quantity of documents was seized. They were delivered to and are now in the custody and control of the Commissioner of Police.

5. In February 2007, the applicants commenced proceedings challenging the legality of the search warrants and the searches conducted pursuant to these warrants (“the legality proceedings”). This attempt failed when leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal was finally refused by the Appeal Committee in November 2012.

6. Meanwhile, after the legality proceedings were commenced but before they were finally disposed of, the applicants instituted a second set of proceedings seeking the issue of a letter of request by the SJ to the Italian authority to obtain the evidence of the Italian officers who took part in the searches for the purpose of the legality proceedings. Letters of requests were issued by the Hong Kong court to the Milan judicial authority...

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