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Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Hong Kong Mirror concert: 3 employees of principal contractor to stand trial

Hong Kong Mirror concert: 3 employees of principal contractor to stand trial

Ng Hoi-ying, 41, Joseph Leung, 48, and Lam Chi-wah, 60, face a joint count of conspiracy to defraud for allegedly under-reporting the weight of stage apparatus.

Three employees of the principal contractor of a concert by boy band Mirror will stand trial in the District Court on charges of falsifying equipment data to get approval from Hong Kong authorities.

The trio from Engineering Impact Limited, the principal contractor of the event in July 2022, appeared in Kowloon City Court for the first time on Thursday in connection with the case of a falling giant screen that injured two dancers, one of them seriously.

Project managers Ng Hoi-ying, 41, and Joseph Leung Yiu-cho, 48, and technical coordinator Lam Chi-wah, 60, face a joint count of conspiracy to defraud for allegedly under-reporting the weight of stage apparatus with intent to induce the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to expedite a vetting process for the show.

A charge sheet available for press inspection said the offence was committed between May 19 and July 25 last year but did not state the nature of the stage equipment in question.

Defendant Joseph Leung leaves Kowloon City Court.

The trio face an alternative charge of fraud, which alleges their acts had benefited their company at the expense of the department.

Both offences are punishable by up to 14 years in jail but capped at seven years when the case is heard before a district judge.

Prosecutors applied to move the case to the higher court and asked for an eight-week adjournment to allow for the preparation of the necessary paperwork.

They did not object to an extension of the defendants’ bail but asked that stringent conditions be imposed to ensure they return to court on the next occasion.

Police officers collect evidence at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

The conditions included a travel ban, surrendering travel documents, reporting to police weekly and avoiding contact with all prosecution witnesses, including department officers and force investigators.

Acting principal magistrate Peony Wong Nga-yan partially granted that request after hearing submissions from defence counsel Brian Chau.

She released the trio on bail of HK$10,000 (US$1,275) each and barred them from leaving Hong Kong but allowed Ng and Lam to travel to Singapore and Malaysia in April and May, respectively, for work.

The three suspects were also permitted to talk to all prosecution witnesses during the adjournment, save for discussions about the present case.

They are expected to return to the same magistrates’ court on March 30.

The trio were among five suspects arrested in November 2022, more than three months after the accident at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom on July 28.

An Engineering Impact business director and a senior technician from subcontractor Hip Hing Loong have been granted unconditional release by police.

Dancers Mo Li Kai-yin and Chang Tsz-fung were hit by a four-by-four-metre LED screen which crashed onto the stage during the group’s performance.

Li, who was once critical, is at risk of becoming paralysed from the neck down owing to damaged vertebrae.

The July 28 concert was the fourth of what was to be a series of 12 shows by the boy band. The rest of the concerts were cancelled after the incident.


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