Macau, China, 19 Feb – The former Macau Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Ao Man Long, stood trail again on Wednesday, this time related to casino work tenders, as well as granting land and public work contracts for sporting venues.
The former government official was convicted in January, 2008 to 27 years in jail for corruption, money laundering, abuse of power and false declaration of assets between 2002 and 2006.
Irrespective of his second trial’s sentence, Ao Man Long’s total prison term cannot, according to the Macau Penal Code, exceed 30 years.
Even if sentenced to another long term prison term, he is due to be released from jail no later than December 2036, considering that he has been in detention since December 2006.
Ao Man Long was detained on 6 December, 2006 by Macau’s Commission Against Corruption, which discovered cash and assets in his possession evaluated at around 800 million patacas (US$ 100 million).
Sam Hou Fai, the President of Court of Final Appeal in Macau, at the start of the session read the accusation against Ao Man Long, which included 19 counts of bribery, five crimes of money laundering and four counts of power abuse.
Ao Man Long chose not to reply and not make any statement.
The bribery and money laundering accusations were linked to the construction of the Crown casino and hotel and the City of Dreams complex, both owned by the Melco/PBL consortium, which has capital from Macau and Australia.
Melco is controlled by Lawrence Ho, son of Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho.
Also under review in the trial that started Wednesday are accusations relating to the awarding of tenders for sporting venues, such as the Macau Stadium, and land granting on the Macau peninsula as well as on the islands of Taipa and Coloane.
According to Portugal’s Lusa News Agency, this second trial against Ao Man Long involves illicit acts with three Macau-based companies, though the publication reported the extent is more vast as the former government official indirectly created and controlled companies to hide earnings from illicit activities.