Former pro-Beijing businessman and deputy in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference “Dream Bear” Lew Mon-hung was sentenced to 18 months in jail for obstruction of justice on Monday after he was found guilty of interfering with Hong Kong’s corruption watchdog during an investigation into his company.
In giving his verdict, the judge said the case was a serious act of obstructing justice, as Lew had sent a letter to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the Head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), threatening them to stop the investigation.
He added that Lew’s actions had seriously affected public confidence in the fairness of judicial proceedings, and he had to be sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.
In his defence, Lew said he only sent the letter as his relationship with Leung turned sour. He added that his letter did not obstruct the ICAC’s investigation, and that he was found not guilty on the charges issued against him following the investigation.
Lew was investigated by the ICAC in 2013 after he was suspected of fraud and money laundering when his company, Pearl Oriental Oil Limited, acquired a gas and oil field project in the United States.
Lew subsequently sent an email to Leung, criticising the ICAC investigation as “political prosecution” and “political assassination”. He also said he would “perish together” with Leung if he suffered losses due to this incident.
Lew was later acquitted of these charges, but was accused of obstruction of justice by the Department of Justice.
Lew is a pro-Beijing businessman who served as a deputy in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference from 2008 to 2013. He was a vocal supporter of Leung during his election campaign in 2012 against Henry Tang Ying-yen and Albert Ho Chun-yan.
However, their relationships turned sour in 2013, and he became a vocal opponent of Leung and the Chinese government. Prior to the New Territories (East) Legislative Council by-election on Sunday, he reportedly urged friends and family to vote for Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, of the pro-democracy Civic Party, as opposed to the pro-Beijing camp.