Often Partisan

Postcards from HK: The Trial

Despite Carson Yeung’s trial on five counts of money laundering being on hiatus there has still been a lot of discussion here in Hong Kong about what is likely to happen to Carson and what effect it will have on the bigger picture of graftbusting here in the former colony.

As the court case is still on going (even though there are currently no hearings in progress), reporting restrictions still apply so I have to be careful what I write and how I write it. However, I think there is some valid information I can share to give you a better idea of what is likely to happen. As always please bear in mind I have no training in law; however I have spoken to several solicitors and barristers dealing in criminal law here to get a good idea of the situation.

The laws against money laundering here in Hong Kong are without putting too fine a point on it, draconian. There is a perception that corruption has been an ongoing problem here for a long time and as such the laws against it are strict. I’ve mentioned before that the onus is on Carson to prove his innocence in this case rather than the prosecution proving his guilt – this is down to the way the law is intepreted.

The charges are against Carson that he knowingly or had reason to believe that he dealt with money that was the proceeds of an indictable offence. The key words in that sentence are “had reason to believe”. The prosecution doesn’t have to prove that where the money came from that flowed through Carson’s accounts; all they have to show is that a “reasonable man” would have “reasonable doubt” as to where the money had come from. Thus all the prosecution has to demonstrate is that a large amount of money flowed through his accounts that could have come from dodgy (ie drugs, prostitution, human trafficking, weapons trafficking) sources; Carson has to show that he had reason to believe that he didn’t – ie he has to give an explanation of why the money went through his accounts.

Case law here is strong. To show how stringent the laws are, I was directed to read the judgement on this recently concluded case. A man was asked by his friend of thirty years to hold a million pounds or so in his account for a month before remitting it to another account in Cambodia. The accused did so as he had known his friend for a long time, trusted him and knew he was rich enough that a million pounds wasn’t a massive deal to him. However, he was convicted and the judgement upheld on appeal because the law doesn’t take subjectivity into account; the law states that the man should have demanded an explanation of his friend of thirty years why he had to hold the money and where it had come from.

Carson has thus far declined to give evidence and thus all his defence is what is called “Tier II” evidence – ie it’s from third parties. The judge will have to make a decision as to whether Carson has sufficiently explained why so much money has come through his accounts and will take into account that Carson himself hasn’t offered an explanation.

I know that some have discussed a lesser “tax evasion” charge as a compromise offence but the truth is the talk of Carson not paying tax is a red herring. There is no capital gains tax on stock market profits or profits from gaming so it is relatively easy for Carson to dismiss the fact he didn’t pay any tax without getting into trouble. Carson will either be found guilty of the charges he has been indicted for or acquitted. If he is convicted he will face a jail sentence of around five to seven years for each offence – however these would be served concurrently rather than consecutively.

The court case is due to resume in October but any hope of a quick finish may be unfounded; I now have my doubts that we will have a verdict this side of Christmas and with the lunar new year in January it may be even longer than people currently think before a judgement is announced.

The hope is that the court case does not have a bearing on the sale of the club; I can see both why it would and why it wouldn’t and thus whilst I’m hoping that it won’t I’m not expecting that.

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79 Responses to “Postcards from HK: The Trial”

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Keep up the good work. You planning to go out to HK again when the CY trial re-starts?

  • sutton apex says:

    cant see a sale until he is desperate and found guilty – we must just carry on and avoid relegation

  • Eddie says:

    I hope he is found innocent, frees up his assets and resumes as our owner with fresh investment.

    A lot of people forget it was our most successful time under his ownership and it only went monkey when he had his assets froze.

    If any of us were arrested under these circumstances what could we have done differently except kept a multi-million pound ball rolling with out control of your own assets

    the club is doing well under the circumstances to maintain its position.

    its too easy to knock, its harder to offer practical ideas

    KRO

    • Quokkasskip says:

      Eddie, please wake up

      • Eddie says:

        If your assets were frozen, what would you have done differently?

        the club has had to support itself financially without following the Cov or Dingle route

        • Flying Doctor says:

          The damage was done way before Carson had his assets frozen. Just as well the assets were frozen. In all probability he’d have loaded more debt on the club which it couldn’t afford.

        • KeepRightcroydOn says:

          Eddie what about the bigger picture…paying over the odds for the club with cash that wad not his, ie borrowed. The problems started there, not with the freezing of assets. Other factors such as signing players on extortionate contracts, without any relegation clause. Basic business errors. That’s what has really caused our cash flow problems, not his asset freeze. Without those bad business decisions he made on behalf of the club, we’d be self-sufficient and not dependent on his largesse, or lack. Wake up mate.

          • KeepRightcroydOn says:

            The only thing I’d credit to current regime is that they are investing in the Academy, something that Gold & Sullivan did not seem to do. But it’s sad that CY & PP are using it to generate funds to hang on to the club rather than an investment for the future.

          • Thejudge says:

            To be honest, whether he is actually guilty or not, I couldn’t see him keeping the club. However if he gets off, It’d be pretty sad to think that he’s crippled the club and still got something back for it. The loans that are ‘owed’ to him are nonsense. After the way the club has been treated, blues don’t owe carson anymore.
            Thanks for the cup, I’ll always remember it but its time for a new era at blues

    • chas says:

      Blimey, someone who thinks the same as I do.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Eddie, what are you on? Are you for real?

  • Marky mark says:

    What I cannot understand is Carson must have been well aware of these HK laws however draconian, and to let millions go through his accounts without backing up some evidence of its origins (legit or false) is beyond belief.

    Its common knowledge money laundering in HK is rife and therefore dealt with severely, I can only assume Carson is guilty or extremely stupid or a combination of both.

    • Len says:

      Well anyone who pays more than twice what the club was worth with a business strategy of making Birmingham City a major brand in China has to be pretty stupid!
      This court case appears to confirm it.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Eddie,you gotta be a villa fan….after reading that i think,its bye bye Carson and good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • Bradley says:

    You do make a good point Eddie and it’s something that not many seem to mention, could that be the most obvious outcome? my question would be, does he have enough cash/assets to be in a position to own a football club? £60 million frozen….. is that all he has?

    • almajir says:

      Bradley

      I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a copy of the asset freeze documents and the cash under Carson’s control amounts to about £100,000 in those documents.

  • Bobble says:

    What sentence did the person in your example (who held and then passed on a million) get?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Unless he knows the right palms to grease, I can’t see how Carson Yeung can possibly get off now. As has been said, he has to prove that he didn’t money launder… and from what we’re read so far, there’s not been a shred of evidence shown to prove that he didn’t. Hearsay and character reference isn’t really evidence. Is it?

    • Stephen Wood says:

      You have hit the nail on the head mate, 100%. I have been following this page because, i like you care for the club. From all the evidence presented to the court , It would be folly to think Carson stands an Earthly!!! Even if hell freezes and Carson wins the case, Who could tell that any further money he had was truely his. Plus why has this case taken so long? Why does Carson need more time to present his case? He should have been prepared to prove his innocence ? Why does he now need more time ? Because he now realises hes Kapput
      Steve Wood

  • Frankie says:

    Yes, I think most people would be a little ‘bewildered’ if they found millions of pounds ‘flowing through’ their dozens of bank accounts that they ‘didn’t know about’.
    Hmmmm, wonder if thats my Tesco Clubcard points being creditted ?

  • dave mann says:

    has ive said many times before this cancer will not go away untill it brings the club to its knees.
    by the end of january we could………….. it doesent bear thinking about, it makes me blood boil.
    last words on this subject, it bores me intensley.KRO.

  • KeepRightcroydOn says:

    Dan if he is found guilty and gets a custodial sentence and appeals, do you know if he’ll be released during the appeals process or spend that time inside?

  • Tony says:

    Dan in your opinion will the judge be considering his verdict now although the case is not active, or will we have to wat another three months for that to happen?.after all its almost over

    • almajir says:

      Tony. in the article, I wrote:

      but any hope of a quick finish may be unfounded; I now have my doubts that we will have a verdict this side of Christmas and with the lunar new year in January it may be even longer than people currently think before a judgement is announced.

      What do you think?

  • geraldsquires says:

    Do we know how much this costing carson? Regarding his legal Team mmmmm?

  • Tony says:

    Did not see that Dan fair enough

  • nuneatim says:

    If he is found innocent of all charges, bourne from the courthouse by a flight of angels, given the freedom of Hong Kong and elected Pope, after the pain of the last couple of years I would still welcome a infestation of plague rats to St Andrews before Carson Young.

  • Frankie says:

    Carson doesn’t have a ‘million quid’ so anyone’s guess (think we all know) where that will be coming from and he’s got the gonads to claim BCFC owe HIM money !
    Given the comical nature of the defence ‘case’ so far:

    – He got lucky at Blackjack,
    – He got lucky (again) on the ‘penny shares’
    – He gives money to charity

    Has the judge got a lot to consider ?

  • tmsblues says:

    If guilty , whatever the sentence, I’ve no doubt Carson will appeal in a further effort to delay the inevitable. Blues will be scraping the financial barrow from January but I suspect CY will try to hang on to the end… Its a matter of ‘face’..

  • John done says:

    Despite events in hk I feel any pre season hope has already been put to bed. Lose to yeovil will ll the knives be out for Clark? Who can sack him ,presumably only PP and can this be done y remote control from hk ?

  • dave mann says:

    lee clarks job is as safe as anybodys job can be, we cant sack him because nobodys daft
    enough to take it on in the present situation, loose to yeovil and those who do get there knifes
    out can have a go at carson instesd. lees done a great job and it will take time for is side to
    gell. if anybodt needs sacking its the hong kong lot not the birmingham lot,there the ones
    who have got us in this mess……if only i had 40 million….. hang on ill check the bank account!
    KRO.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Dave, well said although you did say previous to this those were your last words! You can’t help yourself mate ’cause you care about the club and can see what these idiots have done to us. Unlike Eddie who has completely disregarded reality and thinks that CY has brought us success!.

      • mark says:

        9th in premiership and cup is not success???? I am missing something!!!! Not meaning to be little you mate…….

  • Frankie says:

    Yes, worth a try Dave.
    Apparently millions of pounds can suddennly appear in your account, as Tommy cooper would say ..
    Just like that !

  • ForevertheOptimist says:

    We’re not up that certain creek without that certain instrument just yet.
    LC has done the best he can do with what was at his disposal.
    A fresh start on the playing front and a fresh investor out there biding his time to get this great club at the right price, sound promising to me.
    There will be knock backs and the unexpected defeat, so what, we haven’t gone into liquidation yet, thanx to all the great people behind the scenes balancing what little housekeeping money they get, handed over every week.
    Blues aren’t desperate just yet….the longer this drags on, then see the investors come out of the woodwork.
    Bet Blues are on the ‘ watch ‘ list of many potential buyers.
    Good luck on Saturday Blues, lets get a run going…..

  • dave mann says:

    i know agent mcleish i cant help myself and frankie ive put me lottery on so fingers crossed
    yeah! its just id rather talk about the football and not the other mob ruining our club and
    bringing it to the gutter, makes me very angry……..ime turning green now! KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If we lose at Yeovil, it’s not the end of the world. Thoughts of sacking Lee Clark are just ridiculous. On the playing front, I hardly have a care in the world. I can see there’s enough in this squad to have a do well this season. If Clark can, possibly, bring another striker in before the window shuts, We’ll be set fair for decent attempt at the play-offs.

  • dave mann says:

    if king goes i think a striker is a must, but i said earlier what do we get for nothing and
    2000 k a week………..nothing, so ime like you staffs were go with what weve got and
    see what happens cause from the two games ive seen so far ime optemistic and 3 points
    at yeovil tomorrow will improve my mood concidrebly. KRO.

  • Frankie says:

    Problem is that we could dominate games and find it hard to get that goal.
    I really hope Matt Green can put one away, he is a grafter for sure and as Lee Clark said, the goals are the same wherever you play. Similarly Lee Novak.
    Yeovil will be a hard nut to crack, like us they seem solid at the back and struggle up-front.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s been our problem as far back as Hughton’s season… putting the ball in the net. I’ve lost count of the games we’ve dominated, but failed to score in (including last Saturday against Watford.) If your strikers aren’t hitting form yet, your defence has to stay super-sharp. Unfortunately, I think this defence we have now might take half a dozen games at least to get to that point. So, the strikers, whoever they are, need to step up.

  • dave mann says:

    theyve won 4 in a row and have started well but i think there bubble will burst
    tomorrow and i will be there to see it, lets stay posetive because we need to
    outnumber the ones that aint so KRO.

  • Tony says:

    King has still not gone??? well well, do we give him another week or a month off Clark said he would be away this week

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I don’t think there’s much Clark can do about it Tony. It’s up to the other club to make him an offer, then for King to accept. To be fair, this is probably King’s last decent contract, he has to make sure it’s right.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    Whatever else happens, the world will seem a rosier place with 3 points tomorrow. I shall be there as long as I can get off the M5!!

    Incidentally; whilst I’m not LC’s biggest fan, he’s done well with what he’s got in and I just cannot agree with John Done above.

  • ken says:

    As i have said before ,leave as early as you can,it will be hell from about junc14 to junc 25
    for Yoevil, after that the road to Yeovil is very good

  • Tony says:

    Fair enough Staffs but we are desperate for goals, he scores goals he is our player and we pay his wageswhats the prob?.

    • almajir says:

      He will never play for us again tony, give it up

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d have King back in the team tomorrow, but if I’m honest, I wondered last season, when he had that knee op, whether he’d play for us again. Looks extremely unlikely now.

  • peter bates says:

    I believe cy will be found guilty unless a payoff takes place but i dont really care cy and pp days are numbered at st andrews sell the club to people who care about it i think that statement came out the other day because peter pannu doesnt want his thunder stolen ive said before he sees himself as a white knight riding to the rescue so his ego tells him only he can make the statement that the club is being sold and what a great job he has done

  • Tony says:

    Can you elighten us as to why Dan?.

    • almajir says:

      Because we’re going to get rid of him?
      Because he doesn’t want to play for us?

      All stuff that I’ve spoken about many many times before.

      Move on Tony. I know you rate him, I know he can be a good finisher but it won’t be for us any more

  • Tony says:

    Ok Dan so we continue paying his wages ,or buy his contract out. Terrific just Teriffic

  • StaffsBlue says:

    On a positive note, Tony, I think Lee Clark’s no fool. If neither Novak or Green are cutting it, he’ll bring someone in who can, whether that be another loan player, or promoting from the academy. He’s shown enough times now, he’s got the bottle to make decisions for the good of the team.

  • Tony says:

    Who in the academy Staffs? please dont say Reece Hales

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Who knows? Maybe. Lee Clark would know more about that than me. Have a bit of faith.

    • KeepRightcroydOn says:

      You know what Tony? I have a sneaking feeling that Green & Novak are going to do ok for, totting up around 20 goals between them – which won’t be a bad return for a freebies. I think that the likes of Elliott, Shinnie, Allen and Burke will also knock in a few, and maybe, just maybe, our central defenders will get a few from set pieces and corners.

      So hopefully Marlon’s goals won’t be missed. Hang on a sec, did we miss his goals that much after he was injured last season as goals came from elsewhere on the pitch? Point I’m.trying to make is that we do not have to rely on one person to get most of our goals, and better if more players poses threat as this will make it much more difficult for defences if they have to focus on more than one threat.

  • Murph says:

    Win lose or draw tommorow lets back the brummie boys , I really think a few games in we’re be knocking them in , just a little this n that and Clarkie will have a decent team for what’s been spent , zilch but decent wages and ambition , can’t beat ambition so come on let’s back the players again as a few of them signed for our club cos of its history and fans ! Come on you blues

  • geraldsquires says:

    Novak is just awful at this level, unless we get a decent striker be it on loan or on a free, we are in deep do do

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Give the guy a chance. No one has scored in the league yet. So he’s on a level with the rest atm.

  • mark says:

    Totally agree dan- marlon does not want to stay, so saving of 17,000 grand week is fine. In agreement with fans about us scoring mostly all over the park. Hopefully this will be demonstrated tomorrow 2-0 away win blues ……….green and one of our midfielders Allen again kro….. .

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Looks like Wes Thomas is back in favour at Bournemouth. Good luck to the lad: http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11688/8863009/transfer-news-bournemouth-rule-out-west-thomas-sale

  • geraldsquires says:

    Novak wasnt deemed worthy at The mighty huddersfield

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Neither was Lee Clark.. and he’s already proved he’s better than Huddersfield.

  • mark says:

    oh dear Tony if it not marlon its Novak nothing like good old fashion moaning…………….eh Tony

  • mark says:

    Marlon will not be a big loss some fans really need to move on……………………

  • geraldsquires says:

    The point is novak wasnt deemed worthy of a first Team slot, and going by what the fans said about him its not hard to understand why mmmmmm?

    • mark says:

      Sorry to point this out he was under clark, and again clark has shown faith in again with us. How any one can jump on a player with only two games…….shocking really.maybe you have avaid point after maybe 10 or 15 games…………..


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