The trial of former Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau has been adjourned until 29 November after the prosecution filed a new charge sheet with the Court of First Instance on Thursday, amending a number of charges.
The court had expected closing arguments to be made on 21 November, however defense lawyers requested additional time following the filing of the amended charges, which included those relating to telephone betting and mainland assets.
All witnesses in the case have now given evidence, with the past few days seeing a number of witnesses for the defense taking the stand.
On Wednesday, former Suncity Group Senior Vice President of Public and Social Relations, Gina Lei Sou Ian, described Chau as a good boss who “loves his country, loves Macau and considers his colleagues as his family”. She also said Chau had long contributed to Macau’s economy and to social causes, having sponsored the Macau Grand Prix and fundd the Macau Film Festival.
“He started donating money in 2008 and immediately donated MOP$30 million in early 2020 when there was the pandemic in the mainland,” she said. “He is definitely a businessman who loves his country.”
Lei also claimed Chau was good to his staff, that he would help those who had problems and that he was very polite. When the prosecutor pressed her about Chau’s involvement with triads and whether he was related to infamous triad boss “Broken Tooth” Wan Kuok-koi, Lei replied that she had not seen any triad connection and was “not sure what you are saying”.
On Thursday, the girlfriend of Au Wang Tong, the 13th defendant in the case who is currently in mainland China, appeared in court to give evidence. She claimed Au was only a low-level employee of Suncity but that they’d had little contact since he was arrested at the Zhuhai border crossing on his way back to Macau after a trip with her in December 2020.
She also said there had been no way of contacting him after he was arrested, and that it was only after three months that she was allowed to see him through his lawyer.
“He was punished by standing on the floor, not being allowed to take a shower and even being mentally abused while in detention in the mainland,” she said.
Au had no idea why he was arrested, she stated, believing he was just a low-level employee, but that he had been asked about Suncity while in detention. Au was later transferred to detention in Wenzhou without the knowledge of others.
Au’s girlfriend choked back tears at one point in the courtroom, claiming that while in detention Au had tried to commit suicide.
“When he was released from detention in March this year, I found traces of suicide on his wrists because he felt he had been wronged,” she said. “Why did he suddenly become a criminal when he was just a low-level employee?”
Au was charged with illegal gambling and remains on the mainland, where he has been banned from leaving the country by mainland police.