Edward K H Ng (led by Alan Hoo SC) appeared in HKSAR v LCMB HKCFI 692, where the defendant succeeded in his application for costs for, inter alia, the preliminary inquiry, trial and 20% of the legal costs incurred for the purpose of the application for stay and application to quash the indictment.
The defendant was recently acquitted of 2 counts of rape and 1 count of indecent assault against his daughter. The defendant then applied for legal costs starting from the proceedings at the Kwun Tong Magistracy. The prosecution resisted the application in its entirety on the basis that the defendant elected to have a preliminary inquiry, the stay of proceeding application was unmeritorious and the defendant brought suspicion upon himself.
The court ordered the prosecution is to bear the costs of the defendant, from the proceedings at the magistracy till the end of the trial, save that he is only entitled to 20% of the costs incurred for the purpose of the application for stay and application to quash the indictment. The court remarked that the evidence against the defendant came solely from the complainant, there were apparent inconsistencies in her witness statements, and her delay in making a complaint was remarkable. Moreover, the complainant was not able to tell the exact date of any of the alleged incidents, let alone the time. When she testified, she was not able to tell even it was close to the beginning or the end of the month, or close to a particular significant date. Whilst it may be said that this is not uncommon in this nature of case, the difficulty posed on the defence cannot be unduly overlooked.