Álvaro Rodrigues, the lawyer of former Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) President, Jackson Chang, stated today (Friday) that he was “satisfied” with the verdict handed out.
Chang has been handed a two-year effective prison sentence for breach of secrecy and inexact asset declaration but was acquitted of the most serious cases placed against him, including abuse of power, corruption and criminal association charges by the Court of First Instance (TJB).
Since he has been sentenced to crimes that do not entail a prison sentence higher than three years, Chang will be able to be released from prison after paying MOP100,000 in bail and wait for a further appeal decision.
“We have not yet made a decision [concerning an appeal] but I will talk with my client next week. I think we will. I, the defence team and [Jackson Chang] are satisfied with the verdict. Later we will pick him up at the prison,” Rodrigues told the media.
The lawyer also indicated that if an appeal is overturned and considering that Chang has been in pre-trial detention since July, 2019 he would likely only have to serve seven months of effective prison term.
Chang’s wife Angela Ip On Kei and his daughter Crystal Chang Sin Man were both acquitted from charges of money laundering.
However Pedro Leal, the lawyer of former IPIM Executive Director, Gloria Batalha Ung, expressed a completely opposite view, after his client was slapped with an effective one year and nine months prison sentence for abuse of power and breach of secrecy.
“I believe the court has made a wrong analysis, it should have been a suspended sentence. I can’t see any reason that a person who respected the law all her life without any priors is granted an effective prison sentence of one year and nine months,” Leal stated.
The lawyer expressed while Jackson Chang faced seven charges he was sentenced to two years, while his client received one year and nine months for three.
“I completely disagree with the effective prison terms and I think a suspended sentence is made precisely for people without any priors who are suddenly caught in a situation like that,” the lawyer added.
During her final statements, judge Leong Fong Meng also scolded Gloria Ung for not admitting her actions and not showing remorse, with Leal commenting that “any innocent person would not confess to a crime”.
“We will surely appeal […] My client is deeply sad and so am I,” Leal added.