An application from pro-Beijing businessman “Dream Bear” Lew Mon-hung to overturn his criminal conviction been rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Lew, an aide-turned-foe of former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, was sentenced to 18 months in jail in 2016 for obstruction of justice over letters he wrote to Leung and the anti-graft agency threatening them to halt an investigation involving him.

He has already served the sentence and was released early with a discount for good behaviour last year.

Lew Mon-hung. Photo: Todd Darling/HKFP.

In 2013, Lew claimed in an interview that Leung lied about not finding professionals to examine illegal structures at his property on the Peak. He also said Leung offered him a place on the Executive Council – among other things – in exchange for his support, but the promises did not materialise.

A day after the interview was published, Lew was investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on suspicion 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 letters to Leung and the ICAC chief, threatening them to stop the investigation.

Leung Chun-ying. File photo: In-Media.

Lew applied for leave to appeal on six grounds, including that the prosecution did not perform its duty to reveal information, and the judge of the District Court made mistakes in his ruling, among other matters.

The Court of Appeal on Friday handed down a 71-page judgment to reject Lew’s application on all grounds.

Not-for-profit, run by journalists and completely independent. Contribute to our critical month-long HK$1m Funding Drive, help safeguard our independence and secure our operations for another year. Read how carefully we spend every cent in our Annual/Transparency Report.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.