Lawyers seek bail for Hong Kong businessman in bribery case

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2018 8:15 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The attorneys for a former Hong Kong government official charged in the United States with using bribes to secure business deals asked a judge on Friday to release their client on bail.

The lawyers representing Dr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho said in a letter to Judge Katherine Forrest that Ho "is neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk."

Ho has been jailed since November, when he was charged with paying bribes on behalf of a Chinese energy conglomerate to the president of Chad and the Ugandan foreign minister.

Ho, 68, of Hong Kong, and Cheikh Gadio, 61, of Senegal, were charged in Manhattan federal court with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international money laundering and conspiracy.

Prosecutors allege that Ho hatched the scheme at the United Nations when the Ugandan foreign minister was president of the U.N. General Assembly. Beginning in October 2014, the pair arranged bribes to secure business advantages for a Shanghai-headquartered multibillion-dollar conglomerate that operates internationally in the energy and financial sectors, court papers say.

Ho was denied bail on Dec. 1 when U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman said she agreed with prosecutors' argument that he was a flight risk

The lawyers said they are now asking that Ho be released on $10 million bond secured by $2 million in cash. They are proposing home detention in Manhattan with electronic monitoring.

Lawyers Edward Y. Kim, Paul M. Krieger and Jonathan F. Bolz told Forrest, who will preside at Ho's arraignment on Monday, that Ho "has every incentive to defend this case and clear his name."