A Hong Kong woman thought her flatmates were joking when they talked about killing a man for US$30 million, until she saw a large block of cement in the living room and smelled blood seeping out of it, a court heard.
"I was very frightened," Ho Ling-yu said.
The 22-year-old mother was testifying against three men in exchange for her own immunity over the death of Cheung Man-li, 28, whose body was found in March, 2016, encased in a block of cement in a unit at DAN6 industrial building in Tsuen Wan.
Her flatmates - Tsang Cheung-yan, 29, Keith Lau, 24, and Cheung Sin-hang, 26 - have pleaded not guilty to one joint count of murder, which allegedly took place on March 4, 2016.
On Wednesday, Ho told a jury of four men and three women how she came to move into the Tsuen Wan flat and share a bed with Tsang - whom she met during the Occupy protests in 2014 - because she was having trouble with her family and boyfriend.
But Ho said she had no physical relationship with Tsang and revealed that he used to pay her HK$8,000 a month for keeping notes of meetings held by her flatmates, who reportedly belonged to an organisation known as "There".
Ho said these meetings touched on issues, ranging from dangerous drugs and making false certificates to the killing of Cheung Man-li, also known as "Ah J", in return for US$30 million.
"On many occasions, they had the discussions very seriously. But, they had never put those discussions into actions," Ho said.
"It's just like they were joking."
On March 4, 2016, Ho returned to the flat to find Tsang and Cheung Sin-hang studying a map on the computer. She claimed Tsang told her then that they were looking for a place to kill Ah J because they wanted to rob him.
Few hours later, Ho said she watched Lau spray a bottle of chloroform onto a pair of old panties and was told by Tsang to stay on the flat's mezzanine floor as their two other flatmates would talk about a project downstairs with Ah J.
Ho agreed and decided to sleep. But she said she was awoken by steps, muffled sounds and voices swearing and saying: "Don't mess around, that will kill."
When she asked Tsang what had happened, he reportedly told her: "Ah J is dead."
Ho said she thought her flatmates were joking, but was frightened when she returned to the flat the next day to find a block of drying cement in the living room and later smelled blood seeping out of it.
"Did you think about making a report to the police then?" prosecutor Richard Turnbull asked.
"No, because if they really had killed a person … they could kill another," the young woman replied. "Tsang Cheung-yan could kill me or my boyfriend or my family members."
Her testimony continues before Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung.
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