A woman who was sentenced to life in prison for gunning down two relatives in a Hong Kong park four years ago has been charged with offering a bribe of HK$300,000 (S$54,000) to a prison official, according to the city’s graft-buster.
Ada Tsim Sum-kit, 48, who was charged on Tuesday (Sept 20) with one count of offering an advantage to a prescribed officer, would be brought to Tuen Mun Court to enter a plea on Thursday, according to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Tsim allegedly offered the bribe to a principal officer of the Correctional Services Department (CSD), who was in charge of her ward at the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre.
“The ICAC inquiries revealed that at two earlier one-on-one counselling sessions, the defendant told the principal officer that she thought the latter could or wanted to help her to stay at the Siu Lam [Psychiatric Centre], so that she could be released a few years after incarceration,” the anti-graft agency said.
Tsim, a former bodyguard, used a handgun on June 26, 2018, to shoot Jim Siu-fan, 80, and Chim Chun-ki, 62, in the head at close range in Quarry Bay Park. Her uncle, Jim Chin-kui, and aunt, Jim Siu-wai, were injured in the shooting. Her older brother escaped unharmed.
On July 15, 2021, she was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. At the time, the defendant was incarcerated in Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre for assessment of her mental status.
On Nov 6 that year, the defendant was alleged to have offered HK$300,000 to the prison officer to prolong her stay at the centre longer so she could get an early release.
Anti-graft officers began investigating the case after receiving a referral from the CSD.
According to the graft-buster, CSD officers, including the principal officer in charge of the defendant’s ward, would record Tsim’s behaviour in their nursing notes which might be used for her psychiatric assessment.
The ICAC said that upon completion of the investigation, legal advice was sought from the Department of Justice, which suggested charging the defendant.
The anti-graft agency said the CSD rendered full assistance during its investigation into the case.
Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre in Tuen Mun, established in 1972, is a maximum security institution for male and female prisoners and detainees who require observation, treatment, assessment or special psychological care.