On 30 August 2019, the Court of Final Appeal handed down its judgment in HKSAR v Chen Keen (alias Jack Chen)) [2019] HKCFA 32.

The Appellants were charged and convicted on two counts of conspiracy to defraud by way of making public certain false announcements and circulars.  The conspiracies were committed against the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and China Jin Hui Mining Co Ltd (later known as Natural Dairy (NZ) Ltd, stock code: 462) and its existing shareholders.  The 1st Appellant was also convicted of one count of money laundering in respect of the proceeds of the said conspiracies to defraud.

The relevant duplicity related to the particulars of on the indictment concerning the agreed dishonest means which were said to have applied.  It was held that in respect of each count of conspiracy which contained sets of particulars pertaining to two different dishonest means, that single count essentially included two conspiracies.  This would give rise to jurors convicting without necessarily agreeing on the dishonest means that was used.  In such a case, the prosecution would have failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.  In the circumstances, the convictions were held to be unsafe and thus unanimously quashed.

Clive Grossman SC (with Clare Montgomery QC) leading Benson Tsoi appeared for the 1st Appellant, instructed by Boase, Cohen & Collins.

The full judgment is available here.