Macau, China, 13 Feb – The Macau’s Court of Final Appeal (TUI) announced Thursday that the second trial of former secretary for transport and public works Ao Man Long will start next Wednesday.
Ao Man Long sentenced to 27 years in jail for corruption , money laundering, abuse of power and unjustified wealth stood accused of amassing a personal fortune of at leat 800 million patacas ( US$ 100 million) between 2002 and 2006 by soliciting kickbacks for at least 41 public work projects.
Irrespective of his second trial’s sentence, Ao Man Long’s total prison term cannnot , according with 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 tha the has been in detention since December 2006.
Meanwhile on Thursday the Hong Kong Court of First Instance Madame Justice Carlye Chu Fun-ling granted a judgment as part of the confiscation order sought by Macau’s government to recover assets Ao and his relatives retained in Hong Kong.
According to a suit filed by the Macau government in Hong Kong’s High Court in July, Ao took more than HK$637 million in kickbacks from construction companies that he approved to build casinos, bridges, public buildings, a sports stadium and other projects.
In a hearing last week, solicitor Jacky Cheung, acting for the Macau government, told Madam Justice Chu that a portion of the assets were believed to be in Hong Kong, with the remainder in Macau and Britain.
Cheung told the court that proceedings would be started in Britain to recover a property, while the Macau properties were already covered by the Macau court’s confiscation order.
Madame Justice Chu indicated that her order would be confined to assets within Hong Kong.
Jacky Cheung also confirmed that proceedings would be commenced in Britain to recover a HK$78 million property in London.
The Hong Kong court ordered the defendants – Ao, his father Ao Veng-kong, his brother Ao Man-fu, his sister-in-law Ao Chan Wa-choi, Ecoline Property Limited, Best Choice Assets Limited and Trendfree Development Limited – to pay any amount still missing plus unspecified damages and interest.
Macau’s top court heard last year that if Macau failed to get the overseas assets returned, Ao would be obliged to pay an equivalent amount to the government.