Often Partisan

The Carson Trial – Recap

Carson Yeung’s trial on five counts of money laundering has now reached thirty days of hearing and with the defence continuing to give evidence appears to be going on for a while yet.

I’ve put this recap together to try to make sense of what has happened and to give people an idea of where we are at and what is left to happen before this long running saga can finally reach a conclusion. However, I must remind people that a) I’m not in any way shape or form legally trained and b) that I am basing my opinions on what I have read in the press and from what I have heard from people who have been in court rather than actually seeing what has been said verbatim in court.

What we have seen for the last week or so is the defence give their evidence to show that Carson is not guilty of the crimes he is on trial for. I’ve oft-repeated in the past what the senior defence counsel, Graham Harris SC, said in court on the first day back in April – that the tactical onus was on Carson to prove his innocence rather than the prosecution to prove his guilt. What he meant by that was simple: the prosecution case is based on irrefutable facts – that large amounts of money went into and out of the accounts in question and that it was put in there by various individuals in various amounts – and that on the face of it, it looks like money laundering. What Carson has to do is show that that money went through his accounts for legitimate purposes and that the assertion from the prosecution that he earned no money was invalid for whatever reason.

Carson’s defence team has done this via  a three pronged-attack. Firstly, they have tried to demonstrate that Carson was an investor on the stock market and that some of the money was profits from dealing and the reason it was moved around was to cover other deals that were ongoing at the time. Secondly, they have tried to demonstrate that Carson was a high roller in the casinos of Macau and that some of the money was legitimate profits from winnings on the baccarat tables. Finally, they are now trying to demonstrate that Carson was legitimately wealthy prior to the period in question and thus had the money to gamble both on the stock market and in the casinos.

The prosecution has however picked apart the defence in places; either demonstrating how a witness is close to Carson via business or familial ties, or by demonstrating that a witness has shown dishonesty in the past via a prior conviction or similar. The prosecution is using these factors, combined with what appears to be a lack of written evidence corroborating Carson’s story to cast doubt on it and therefore prove his guilt.

As the trial moves into July, Carson’s expert witness Ian Robinson along with another expert witness will take the stand to demonstrate why the prosecution have got it wrong. Once they are finished the defence have to decide if they are going to call Carson himself to give evidence in his own defence in the trial; they haven’t given any indication as of yet if Carson is to take the witness stand.

The trial was originally scheduled to last 25 days and we’re now into the thirties; I would think that the expert witnesses will take at least another two to three days of hearings to give their testimony with another day or so to be allowed for cross-examination; if Carson takes the stand I personally think we will see the trial easily break 40 days of hearings and I think that there may be an adjournment to come in that too.

I can sense that there is a sense of fatigue now from some quarters with respect to this case but I think we’re now just coming to the really juicy stuff; should Carson take the stand himself it will be very interesting to see what he has to say and how he is going to explain things. The trial might have dragged on for a while but we could be getting to the best bit.

Due to the nature of this article and the fact that despite several warnings people cannot seem to refrain from posting comments that could be construed as libellous, I have decided to close comments for this piece.

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