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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Briefings

Top Hong Kong court rejects 'thought crime' defence in money laundering appeal

30 August 2016

In a judgment dealing with the conviction of the former Birmingham City Football Club chairman Carson Yeung, Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal reaffirmed that, on a charge of dealing with proceeds of crime contrary to section 25(1) Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO), prosecutors have no need to prove that property handled by a defendant is the proceeds of crime, only that the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe it was. The ruling also clarified the mental element of the offence, rejecting the suggestion that an offence can be committed by negligently failing to realise that property was the proceeds of crime.

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