HKSAR v Harjani Haresh Murlidhar
Court of Appeal
Criminal Appeal No. 352 of 2015
Macrae, McWalters and Pang JJA
12 September 2017

Conspiracy to deal with property known or believed to represent proceeds of indictable offence – mens rea – although judge erred as to mental element of offence, he had, by correct route, found correct mental element proved beyond reasonable doubt

D, who was convicted after trial in the District Court on a charge of conspiracy to deal with property known or believed to represent the proceeds of an indictable offence, appealed against his conviction. He complained that the Judge had required that any genuinely held belief in the legitimacy of the transaction must also be reasonably held.

Held, dismissing the appeal, that:

  • In requiring that any genuinely held belief in the legitimacy of the transaction must also be reasonably held, the Judge had erred. The correct approach to facts which suggested that no reasonable person would believe in the legitimacy of the transaction was to use such facts as part of the assessment of the credibility of the defendant’s claim that he genuinely believed in the legitimacy of the transaction.
  • That error was not fatal to the conviction. By a perfectly correct route, the Judge reached a concluded view that D’s claim as to his belief was not truthful. Having properly rejected that claim, the Judge correctly applied the law in finding that the mens rea of the offence had been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Jurisdictions: 

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