Court allows SFC’s appeal in illegal short selling case

Hong Kong SFC

The Court of First Instance informed that it has allowed the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) appeal against the acquittal of Mr Wong Hung of illegal short selling and ordered that the case be remitted back to the Magistrates’ Court for a re-trial.

In May 2014, the Eastern Magistrates’ Court acquitted Wong on charges of illegal short selling in shares of five listed companies. The Magistrate found that because Wong placed a lot of orders each day, the possibility of Wong being careless about whether he was selling or attempting to sell more shares than he held could not be excluded, and therefore the prosecution had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The SFC subsequently lodged an appeal to the Court of First Instance against the Magistrate’s decision.

The Court of First Instance ruled in favour of the SFC, stating in a judgment that the Magistrate’s decision was perverse in that no reasonable magistrate, applying his mind to the proper considerations and giving himself the proper directions, would have reached the same conclusion.

The Court also ordered that Wong’s case be remitted back to the Magistrates’ Court to be tried by a different magistrate. No date has been set for the hearing at the Magistrates’ Court.

The SFC is studying the Court’s judgment.

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