Often Partisan

The Carson Trial: Preview

Seventeen months after his initial arrest, the trial of Carson Yeung on five counts of money laundering will finally start on Wednesday. Having failed in a desperate appeal to get a further six month adjournment to proceedings, Carson will have to face proceedings that could see him landed in jail if convicted.

For Blues fans, it’s the probable start of the final chapter of Carson’s reign as supremo at Blues. Conviction would see him disbarred from being allowed to own the club under the Owners and Directors test applied by the Football League – if he still has control of the club when that happens.

One of the things to have emerged from his desperate appeal on Friday is the lengths the prosecution are going to ensure that they succeed in convicting Carson. I’ve long said that this has the feel of the authorities throwing the book at Carson as an example to others and as proof that they are cracking down on corruption in Hong Kong. The fact that the prosecution side of the trial is being handled by the Director of Public Prosecutions in Hong Kong, Kevin Zervos SC, merely illustrates that there seems to be a need to win this case from the prosecution’s point of view.

The Hong Kong Commercial Daily reported yesterday that Mr Zervos was present at Carson’s appeal and led the argument for the prosecution against the proposed adjournment, saying Carson was trying to deliberately delay the case in an abuse of the court process. The Judge threw the appeal out stating Carson was “hijacking” the court with his appeal so clearly Carson has won himself no favours there.

It’s not going to be a quick trial either. The HK Daily News talks about 33 archive boxes of documents containing over 4000 pages of evidence against Carson. There has been previous talk of the prosecution calling ten witnesses; the defence according to the HKCD report above wish to call fifteen. Whilst it has been said that the prosecution wanted fifteen days for this trial I can see it going on much longer as witnesses are examined and cross-examined; no doubt Carson’s lawyers will do what they can to object to everything and use every legal trick in the book to dismiss evidence. In short, this trial is going to drag on and it’s my belief we’ll be lucky to see a verdict this side of Christmas, if at all this year.

What does that mean for us Blues fans?

Well, it’s my belief that the actual outcome of the trial is largely irrelevant. Carson knows he has to sell BCFC now and whilst it looks likely to me that he is going to be found guilty I don’t think that will do anything to speed up the process of selling the club. However, it’s my hope that should Mr Pannu not have concluded a deal by the time the trial that there is a chance there could be new bids on the table as the price may well have dropped to distress levels and there will no longer be a legal cloud hanging over it.

In the meantime the trial has no effect on the sale process – that is being handled by Mr Pannu and he seems to have a clear remit for what is he looking for in terms of price etc. As Carson cannot vote in the EGM regardless due to being a director of BCFC it is immaterial if he is in court whilst that takes place; likewise, if he is convicted prior to the sale being agreed it’s my belief having talked to people who know about this sort of thing that there would be no bar to the sale of the club from the Hong Kong authorities.

Having asked on these pages for people’s thoughts with regards to the reporting of the trial and received a large amount of positive responses I have decided that I will endeavour to post a daily update on what is happening in the courts – obviously provided the information comes through as expected. To aid those who just want a synopsis the first paragraph will have a summary so that people can see it on the main page; the detailed bit will be in the article proper. I will also add create a series tab so people can see every article quickly written on the trial as it progresses.

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18 Responses to “The Carson Trial: Preview”

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Good luck to you Almajir;, You are going to be a very busy boy for a while, !!.

    I am certain that he majority of us are extremely grateful for the effort that you have already put in, !!.

    We await further news on C,Y. — and any possible sale news that you can unearth, !!.

    Many Thanks.

  • RUPERT says:

    Almajir deserves a whip round at Christmas for his great work!!

  • BCFCnick says:

    ‘it looks likely that hes going to be found guilty’ and you know this how exactly?

  • Luke says:

    FYI, it would be sensible to change the last sentence of the second paragraph (“that” to “if”). It currently reads as a positive assertion that Mr Yeung is to be convicted. Such a comment may land you in hot water. All other statements are caveated and appear OK.

  • rvh1t says:

    My view has always been that CY would be better off selling sooner rather than later. If he is convicted, it will be a distress sale. Barred as a director, possibly having his sequestered assets seized, he would thenl have no control over events.

  • Masaccio says:

    My money is on the fecker getting off the hook

  • David says:

    The reason why Almajir reckons their will be a guilty verdict, BCFCnick, is that the prosecution are eager to get the trial underway and Carson’s lawyers are seeking delays. Therefore, you can see which side is more confident of a win at this moment.

  • I roth says:

    THERE seems to be no good news, THERE should be soon.
    THEIR money i.e. the new money will be welcome if it happens. I feel the new want to be owners are past mates of Carson. They are probably past investers who see a way to make THEIR money up.
    THEIR names will I am sure already be known to Carson and he will be in the background of any new bid.

  • DoctorD says:

    Al — great blog entry. I honestly don’t know what I would do without OP. We would be entirely in a news vacuum as there’s nothing on the official club site apart from the usual ramblings from Clark.

    By the way, who’s this John Carney guy who wrote the piece in the South China Morning Post? His name suggest he might have an English-speaking background so could be a good contact. I see his email address was on the article. Can you ask him what else Pannu told him?

  • RUPERT says:

    There is and will be no sale, just a re positioning of debt and share ownership, they want palladini out the way to continue the smoke and mirrors imo

  • tamuffblue says:

    I roth says – Rupert – You are both bang on the money with your posts – this whole charade is being played out in the East on deliberate so ownership can be eased over to different individuals but same persona

  • Dave Sherlock says:

    I agree he appears to be in real trouble old Carson. To take a complex case like this to court 17 months down the line without bottling it suggests that the evidence is there to get a successful conviction.

  • Jay Sidney says:

    A good idea from Almajir to try to provide a daily up-date to this important trial, the outcome of which could well have a very serious impact on the immediate future of BCFC.

    I’m concerned that the trial itself may drag on for quite a while and I don’t suppose adjournments can be ruled out out of the question.

    Here’s a question: If Carson Yeung gets off (where the “jury” among posters here is fairly split), how might that affect the future ownership of Blues?

  • Jay Sidney says:

    Given the state the current owners of BCFC have left a proud football club in, I’m sure there more than a few nagging doubts about Blues’ ownership (eventually) passing to another Far Eastern consortium.

    However, here’s a question to those who are steadfastly insisting Blues will not be sold: Do you have any HARD EVIDENCE to back up such definite statements?

    • James Black says:

      Jay. Nobody has any knowledge of what he is accused of. Nobody even understands the case, the charges or anything about the man and his associates. But it would appear everyone feels fit to insult, wish the worse on him and judge without knowing a damned thing. Yes it does appear that the prosecution are confident, but none of us really know any detail even as regards what the charges are over. Then it would seem that becuz one guy of Chinese decent is being charged then the whole of Hong Kong are unfit to run the club, but a dodgy consortium that wants to use Blues as a venture capitalist project, are great for the club. My attitude is until you know, be quiet and nobody knows a thing. I only addressed you Jay as i agree that nobody has hard evidence for anything here, but many judges and commenters. lets just see and guilty or not, im not happy to see any man in such a precarious situation. He never made a penny out the Blues only lost millions, so all im saying is that i hope when the darkest hour comes into the lives of some, that they get kinder and more human treatment than the judges and morality crusaders here. Personally i wish him well.

  • Ed says:

    Fair comment Jay, I tend to agree with what you have said, unlike the last owners this one has lost a fortune trying to make Blues a success.

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Good luck Carson

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