Macau traffic case first for expert witness

A mechanical engineering expert disqualified by a Hong Kong court from testifying with his expertise was accepted as an expert witness in a case heard by a Macau court.

Lo Kok-keung, former lecturer in the mechanical engineering department of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, went to Macau on May 29 to act as the expert witness for the defendant, who was being sued for harming bodily integrity for negligence after a traffic accident back in February 2014.

Dubbed "Detective Galileo in Hong Kong," Lo, 68, is known for helping defendants in seeking faults in the prosecution's evidence with his expert knowledge in mechanical matters.

He is also a fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in Britain, and was an expert witness in 75 court cases over the past 22 years.


Lo's expertise was denied for the first time in a Hong Kong court as Deputy District Judge Bina Chainrai rejected his qualification in a traffic accident case last October. The defendant in the case, Leung Ching-chung, was found guilty in the District Court of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment.

Despite being rejected by the court, two to three people still ask him for expert reports every month, Lo said.

A driver in Macau came to Hong Kong with her husband in December 2015 to ask Lo to be her expert witness. The woman's car was alleged to have hit the back of a motorcycle at the entrance of a tunnel on February 7, 2014, and trapped the biker underneath her car. It took nine months for the biker to recover, leaving scars and sequel.

After reading through the testimonies of the plaintiff and the defendant, Lo found the plaintiff's version of events to be unsound, and so he agreed to be the woman's expert witness.

Lo said it was meaningful for him that a court outside Hong Kong recognized him as an expert witness.

"My qualification is international, and was recognized by Britain and other European countries," said Lo, who is happy to be the first foreign expert witness in Macau for traffic accidents.

Lo also revealed that he became an expert witness for another Macau citizen in a case of a fatal traffic accident, which is still under judicial procedure.

For the first case, Lo spent about three weeks on analysis, calculations and report writing.

He recalled that in court the prosecution had attacked the accuracy of his calculations, and he immediately explained that insignificant difference would not affect his calculation.

Lo said even the three judges had interrupted, telling the prosecutor to focus on Lo's report instead.

The judges finally accepted the report and acquitted the woman on June 23 after drawing the conclusion that the driver had already stopped her car, or else the vehicle would have run over the biker.

[ Source: The Standard 2017-08-21 ]