Former HKU professor handed life sentence over killing of wife in university hall

Cheung Kie-chung, 56, was found guilty of murdering his wife of 30 years. Photo via Apple Daily
Cheung Kie-chung, 56, was found guilty of murdering his wife of 30 years. Photo via Apple Daily

A former professor at the University of Hong Kong has been sentenced to life over the murder of her wife in 2018.

Cheung Kie-chung, 56, was handed the verdict in the city’s High Court Thursday morning, capping a month-long trial over the gruesome killing, according to the South China Morning Post.

Three years ago on August 17, the then-engineering professor strangled his wife using an electric wire after a disagreement in the university’s Wei Lun Hall, where the couple lived with their daughter.

He concealed her body in a wooden box that he stored at his university office before filing a missing person’s report, reassuring the hall’s residents via email that the heavy police presence was “nothing to worry about.”

Authorities arrested Cheung after raiding his office and finding the box, which was emitting a foul odor, 11 days later.

Madam Justice Anthea Pang Po-kam called the killing “cold-blooded” and said a mandatory life imprisonment was the only appropriate sentence.

Earlier in the trial, Cheung was revealed to have owed his wife HK$6 million (US$773,850) according to an IOU that was found in their bedroom, suggesting there was a money dispute between the couple.

In a court testimony, a childhood friend of Cheung said he thought initial reports of him killing his wife were “fake news.” He described him as popular and helpful towards classmates during their school days.

Cheung was taken to Stanley Prison, a maximum-security facility where he has been held since his arrest and will live out the remainder of his years.

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