The Court of Final Appeal (TUI) announced that it has “not admitted” an appeal by ex-chief public prosecutor Ho Chio Meng against his 21-year prison graft sentence on Sunday.
The city’s top court said in a statement that after its ruling to not admit the appeal, Ho’s sentence was final.
Due to his former position as a principal official of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR), Ho was tried by the city’s highest court.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Ho was arrested in February 2016 and charged with hundreds of counts that included graft, fraud, abuse of power, false statements and money laundering.
According to the TUI’s statement, Ho requested in his appeal on August 4 that he be granted the right of appeal through the setting-up of a special appeal tribunal or the creation of an ad hoc tribunal.
The statement noted that the Macao Judicial Organisation Framework Law does not allow the setting-up of such tribunals.
Ho complained towards the end of his trial that he was denied the right of appeal, a right implicitly enshrined in the Macao Basic Law through Article 40’s reference to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights whose Article 14 (5) states that “everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law”.
Macao’s Judicial Organisation Framework Law states that former principal officials are to be tried by the Court of Final Appeal. The law drafted in the 1990s, took effect on the day of the establishment of the MSAR on December 20, 1999, and was amended in 2009.