Prosecutor, lawyer among 4 charged with graft: MP

2023-09-11 03:56     Comment:0

Macau’s Public Prosecutions Office (MP) has charged four suspects, including a senior public prosecutor and a lawyer, with a range of serious crimes.

A statement by the office released on Saturday identified the four suspects by their surnames as Kong, an assistant prosecutor general, and Kuan, a lawyer, as well as Choi and Ng. The occupations of the latter two were not revealed. 

The statement said that the case has been transferred to the Court of Second Instance (TSI) for arraignment. 

The statement pointed out that the Public Prosecutions Office had recently launched its own in-depth investigation into the case, based on an investigative report about Kong that it had received from the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC). 

According to the statement, Kong allegedly set up in collusion with Kuan, Choi and Ng a criminal association, took bribes, and committed unlawful acts breaching judicial impartiality in various criminal investigation cases. The charge sheet mentioned by the statement also includes the alleged granting of personal favours by a public servant, abuse of power, breach of judicial secrecy, and misfeasance. 

The statement said that the Public Prosecutions Office has issued an arrest warrant for Kong, who has been on long-term unpaid leave, and remanded the other three suspects in custody. 

Public broadcaster TDM/Rádio Macau reported on Saturday that according to the official website of the Public Prosecutions Office, Assistant Prosecutor General Kong Chi has been on long-term unpaid leave since February 7, 2022. Kong is the only one of the 10 assistant prosecutors-general (two of them on secondment to other posts) mentioned by the website with that surname. 

TDM/Rádio Macau quoted unnamed sources as saying that Kong had absented himself from Macau several months ago. 

According to a notice published by the Public Prosecutions Office in the Official Gazette (BO) on February 4, 2022, Kong’s two-year unpaid leave is slated to end on February 6, 2024. 

TDM/Rádio Macau identified the lawyer allegedly involved in the case as Kuan Hoi Lon. According to the website of the Macau Association of Lawyer (AAM), the female lawyer holds its membership No. 414.

According to Article 333 of the Macau Penal Code, misfeasance by a public servant is punishable by imprisonment between one and eight years. According to Article 334, misfeasance by a lawyer is punishable by up to three years behind bars. 

According to Article 332, the granting of personal favours by a public servant is punishable by up to 5 years in jail. 

According to Article 337, bribe-taking with the intent of committing an unlawful act is punishable by up to 8 years’ imprisonment.

According to Article 347, abuse of power is punishable by up to three years behind bars. 

The case revealed on Saturday is the most serious one affecting the Public Prosecutions Office since February 2016 when Prosecutor General Ho Chio Meng was arrested and charged with about 1,500 crimes, the largest in Macau’s history. Ho’s charges included the setting up of a criminal association, forgery, fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced in July 2017 to 21 years behind bars and ordered to pay 18 million patacas in illicit gains to the Public Prosecutions Office. He is serving his sentence in the city’s prison in Coloane. 

As a general rule, according to Article 41 of the Penal Code, Macau’s maximum prison term allowed by law amounts to 25 years. Only in exceptional case can it reach 30 years.  

A car drives past the headquarters of the Public Prosecutions Office (MP) in Zape yesterday.
– Photo: MPDG

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