The Court of Final Appeal (TUI) has rejected an appeal by ex-chief prosecutor Ho Chio Meng to disqualify TUI President Sam Ho Fai from his upcoming trial because the latter allowed the city’s graft busters access to the income and assets declarations of Ho and his wife when they were investigating the case.
Ho’s defence also wanted Sam to be barred from the trial because he had chaired a hearing about Ho’s – unsuccessful – habeas corpus bid.
The court said in a statement on Tuesday that it decided to dismiss the appeal because it was “clearly unfounded”.
Ho’s trial had been scheduled for December 5th. The top court decided on Friday to postpone it sine die after Ho’s defence had filed the appeal earlier that day.
Ho has been in pre-trial detention since March. According to a TUI statement last month, Ho faces 1,970 charges including fraud, abuse of power, money laundering and membership of a criminal organisation. According to last month’s statement, the case involves at least 44 million patacas in ill-gotten gains.
Ho will be tried by the city’s highest court because of his former position as a principal official of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR). His nine co-defendants will be tried separately by the Court of First Instance (TJB) whose trial has been scheduled for February.
Ho was the first top prosecutor of the MSAR, which was set up in December 1999. He served in his position until December 2014, after which he continued to work for the Public Prosecution Office (MP) in a senior position until his arrest on February 26th.
Meanwhile, the court said in a separate statement last night that Ho’s trial will start on Friday at 9:30 a.m.