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Macau’s ex-chief prosecutor says accusations are ‘unfactual’ 

Former ex-chief prosecutor Ho Chio Meng insists that the accusations against him are “unfactual”. Ho made the remarks on the first day of his trial by the Court of Final Appeal (TUI)  on Friday.

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ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:50 am

Former ex-chief prosecutor Ho Chio Meng insists that the accusations against him are “unfactual”.

Ho made the remarks on the first day of his trial by the Court of Final Appeal (TUI) on Friday.

Ho also denied that he rented office space using public funds for his personal use.

Ho is being tried for over 1,500 charges, including alleged fraud, abuse of power, money laundering, illicit participation in business activities, document forgery and membership of a criminal organisation.

Earlier reports had put the number of charges at 1,970.

The trial is taking place in front of a panel of three judges, comprising TUI President Sam Hou Fai, TUI judge Song Man Lei and Lai Kin Hong on secondment from the Court of Second Instance (TSI), which he heads.

Ho is tried by the city’s top court because of his former position as one of Macau’s principal officials.

It took Sam three hours to read Ho the charge sheet.

The charge sheet accuses Ho, among other things, of renting four units on the 16th floor of the Walorly Commercial Building in Nape for his personal use, using money from the public coffers.

According to the charge sheet, the four units were officially designated as “resting room for teaching staff”, but Ho made sure that most of the Public Prosecution Office (MP) staff members were banned from entering the premises.

The charge sheet says that in January last year, MP staff members found that the four-unit “resting room” included karaoke equipment, a ping-pong table, a snooker table, massage equipment, a sauna, and pieces of art.

The charge sheet says that the Prosecutor General Office did not use the units for teaching and training purposes, and that Ho received massage services there instead.

According to the charge sheet, the Public Prosecution Office paid 7.45 million patacas in rent for the “resting room” between 2006 and 2014.

Ho on Friday denied the accusation as “unfactual”. Ho said that the Public Prosecution Office had rented all the units on the 16th floor of the Walorly Commercial Building.

Ho said that officials from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, People’s Procuratorate of Guangdong and Hong Kong’s Department of Justice, as well as a number of law professors from the mainland, had visited and used the “resting room” facilities. He added that more than 10 staff members had received training there.

 

Apart from renting the four units in the Walorly building for Ho’s personal use – the charge that was the focus of Friday’s hearing, various other fraud charges were divided into nine categories on the charge sheet – including official trip expenses for non-MP staff members, renting offices for the operation of a criminal organisation, granting contracts for outsourced services and projects to friends, and renting a villa in Coloane with public money,

According to the charge sheet, the various fraudulent activities cost the Public Prosecution Office more than 76 million patacas.

The court said that Ho would have to repay the 76 million patacas to the government.

The trial continues on Monday morning.

(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:50 am

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