ICAC files charges against Stanley Prison inmate for alleged HK$500,000 bribery of prosecuting officer

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27th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has taken legal action today by filing charges against a male inmate currently serving time at Chi Ma Wan Prison. The inmate is accused of attempting to bribe a prosecuting officer from the Department of Justice with HK$500,000 in an effort to interfere with the trial proceedings of another criminal case. The defendant is scheduled to appear in Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow, 28th February, to answer the charges.

Identified as Ko Wai-kin, a 40-year-old prisoner, the defendant has been charged by the ICAC under Section 4(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance for providing advantages to public officials. At the time of the incident, Ko Wai-kin was incarcerated at Stanley Prison and was also implicated in a separate fraud case pending trial in the District Court. In late February of last year, the defendant requested to send a registered letter from prison to a then-acting senior prosecuting officer at the Department of Justice, enclosing a photocopy of a handwritten letter.

The charges allege that the defendant offered a bribe of HK$500,000 to the said acting senior prosecuting officer, seeking their assistance in interfering with the judicial process of the aforementioned fraud case. The defendant is accused of concealing the involvement of other criminals in the case and their criminal activities, as well as assisting in deceiving the court to believe that the defendant acted alone in the commission of the offence.

Upon receiving the letter, the acting senior prosecuting officer promptly reported the incident to the management. Following a corruption complaint forwarded by the Department of Justice, the ICAC initiated an investigation and found that the acting senior prosecuting officer had not been involved in the prosecution of the fraud case mentioned. The ICAC reminds the public that corruption is a serious offence and advises against bribing public officials in exchange for assistance or preferential treatment. If convicted, the maximum penalty for bribery is a prison term of seven years and a fine of HKD 500,000.