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Hong Kong rural leader denies waste dumping in HK$1.3m claim

A rural leader denied illegally dumping waste on one of his villagers’ properties, claiming he was being set up for money, the High Court heard yesterday.

Sheung Shui rural committee chairman Hau Chi-keung denied allegations by farmer Lau Oi-kiu that he instructed property agent Man Chun-shing, another defendant in the case, to carry out fly-tipping on Lau’s two fields. The court heard that Hau and Man allegedly damaged Lau’s two farming fields in July, 2009. She is claiming HK$1.3 million in damages from Hau.

Hau told the court yesterday: “All they need is money by taking this to court.”

Cross-examined by Lau’s barrister Yeung Ming-tai, Hau said: “I have so much land. Why do I need to occupy others’ land?” The court heard that Hau was a landlord in Ho Sheung Heung in Sheung Shui. “I have a big fortune,” he said. “People say I will get rich if land resumption is carried out. Yes, I will get rich, and it is out of my control.”

Hau said that after mid-July in 2009, government officials informed him of illegal waste dumping in Ho Sheung Heung. He said as a rural representative, he was duty-bound to remove the waste and restore the land to its original condition by planting grass and fruit trees.

He said he did this on behalf of the rural committee.

Court heard earlier that Man had admitted his liability for fly-tipping but disputed the compensation amount.

Lau’s son, Hau Tai-lok, told the court that the two defendants had threatened his family several times in hopes of scaring them away.

He claimed that outsiders dared not to carry out large-scale waste dumping in Ho Sheung Heung unless they were assisted by “people who had power in the village”.

During cross-examination, Hau often brought humour to the four-day trial by repeatedly calling Lau’s counsel “lawyer So” [his surname is Yeung] and asking for the surname of his own counsel.

Judge Mr Justice Paul Lam Ting-kwok also had to remind Hau, who often gave lengthy yet irrelevant answers, to listen carefully to counsel’s questions and answer accordingly.

In response to the judge’s reminders, Hau said: “If I had paid attention to what my teachers said, I would have become a judge today.”

Both parties are due to give their closing submissions today.

Source URL (modified on Mar 4th 2015, 11:59pm):

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