On 3 December 2021, the District Court acquitted both Yoeh Kim-loong, Eugene (Yoeh) (the 1st Defendant), and Lum Chor-wah, Richard (Lum) (the 2nd Defendant) of all charges against them in 香港特別行政區 楊金隆及林楚華 [2021] HKDC 1560.

At all material times, Lum was an IPO consultant while Yoeh was the co-head of the IPO Vetting Team of HKEx. The two faced three charges, two of which are bribery-related, and one count of misconduct in public office.

The three charges arose out of two alleged advantages offered by Lum to Yoeh, i.e.  (1) Lum acted as a supporting member in Yeoh’s application to become a Racing Member of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) (“the Endorsement”); and (2) Lum extended a gift or reward of HK$9.15 million to Yeoh through Yeoh’s wife (“the Payment”). In return, Yoeh would be or remain favourably disposed to Lum and the IPO applications in which Lum was involved.

With respect the Endorsement, it transpired in cross-examination that any HKJC member could act as supporting member to any number of HKJC membership applications.  In the circumstances, the Judge regarded the Endorsement as not sufficiently significant to constitute a relevant advantage.

As regards the Payment, the Court preferred the evidence of Yoeh’s wife, who was found to be a credible witness. She testified that she acquired seven private offered funds with the Payment.  Whilst those funds were held in her name, they were held for the benefit of Lum. Hence, the Payment was not an advantage but merely represented an investment by Lum.

In any event, the Judge found that the evidence only goes to show that Yoeh and Lum were friends, but there was no evidence to show that Yoeh had specific knowledge of Lum’s involvement in any of the relevant IPO applications at the material time.

As a result, Yeoh and Lum were both acquitted of all three charges.

Osmond Lam (with Patrick Tam) appeared for the 2nd Defendant (Lum), instructed by Messrs Leung & Lien.

The full text of the reasons for verdict can be found here.