Witness denies asking to share in slaying reward

Local | Jane Cheung Apr 17, 2018
The key prosecution witness in the '"cement coffin" murder trial told the High Court she did not ask to share in a US$30 million (HK$234 million) reward purportedly being offered for the killing.

Ho Ling-yu, 20, made the comment yesterday during cross-examination by lawyers for the three accused.

The trio - Tsang Cheung-yan, 28, Cheung Sin-hang, 25, and Keith Lau Shek-ho, 23 - have pleaded not guilty to a charge of conspiracy to murder Jeremy Cheung Man-li, 28, on March 4, 2016.

Ho testified that she did not recall telling the three defendants to "share some money with me if there is any."

However, she recalled suggesting using the scent of Chinese medicine from boiling it to deodorize the flat where the slaying occurred.

Ho said she worked as a coffee shop waitress, and after moving in to live with the defendants when she was 18, she was paid HK$8,000 a month by Tsang to write meeting minutes for the organization "There" - an online site that offers rewards for killings.

Asked why Tsang paid her HK$8,000 each month but did not ask her for rent money, Ho replied: "It's because he said I was a friend of his," but admitted that thinking back, the reason seemed unconvincing.

Lau's lawyer questioned the accuracy of Ho's memory, as she could recall details of the case from two years ago, but forgot when she last read documents about the case. Ho later said she had read related documents one day before the trial began, and said tearfully: "The things that happened at that time, I can't forget even if I want to."

The woman said she only fled to Taiwan with the defendants after Jeremy Cheung's death because Tsang had threatened her by saying his "uncle" was a senior police officer, and would lay all the blame on her.

Ho denied a suggestion by Cheung Sin-hang's lawyer that his client had shouted to the other two defendants to "stop" during the slaying.

The trial continues today before Judge Patrick Li Hon-leung and a seven-man jury.

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March 2019