Cheng Cho-lam v The Queen

Court:Court of Appeal (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:CACC460/1974
Judgment Date:27 Jul 1974
CACC000460/1974 CHENG CHO-LAM v. THE QUEEN

CACC000460/1974

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG

(APPELLATE JURISDICTION)

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 460 OF 1974

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BETWEEN:
CHENG Cho-lam Appellant
and
THE QUEEN Respondent

Coram: Briggs, C.J.

Date of Judgment: 27th July, 1974.

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JUDGMENT

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1. The appellant was found guilty of being in possession of dangerous drugs for the purpose of unlawful trafficking and was sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment. He was unrepresented.

2. Various grounds of appeal were filed and it is only necessary to deal with one. This ground was that the appellant is Chiu Chow and this fact was known to the magistrate who tried the case. The appellant gave evidence in the court below and called witnesses. Their evidence was also given in the Chiu Chow dialect. However, the witnesses called for the prosecution, who were police witnesses, gave their evidence in Punti. It is not recorded whether the evidence of the prosecution witnesses was interpreted into the Chiu Chow dialect for the benefit of the appellant.

3. In those circumstances, I ordered that the conviction and sentence imposed in this case be set aside and that the case be retried by another magistrate. I also ordered that there be a speedy retrial.

(Geoffrey Briggs)
Chief Justice.

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