Arab Today, arab today hong kong\s billionaire kwok brothers on trial in huge graft casehong
Last Updated : GMT 16:31:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Hong Kong\'s billionaire Kwok brothers on trial in huge graft case Hong

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Hong Kong\'s billionaire Kwok brothers on trial in huge graft case  Hong

Hong Kong - AFP

A blockbuster corruption trial involving Hong Kong property tycoons Thomas and Raymond Kwok got under way Thursday, with all five defendants pleading not guilty to bribery charges. The billionaire Kwok brothers, who jointly chair development giant Sun Hung Kai Properties, were arrested along with Hong Kong's former chief secretary Rafael Hui in a major swoop by the city's anti-graft watchdog in March 2012. The Kwoks, aged 62 and 60, were accused of bribing Hui, who once held the second-highest position in the southern Chinese territory's government. The trio are among five people charged with offences related to payments and unsecured loans amounting to HK$34 million ($4.38 million). The Kwoks are ranked fourth on the Forbes Hong Kong 2014 rich list, with an estimated family wealth of US$17.5 billion. Dressed in dark suits, the brothers smiled as they arrived at court in a storm of camera flashes, while more than 100 reporters waited inside. Hui, 66, declined to discuss the case as he waited outside the courtroom, but told reporters he was "not feeling relaxed". All the defendants, who have previously proclaimed their innocence, confirmed their not guilty pleas as the hearing got under way, with Thomas Kwok seen listening to a translation of proceedings through headphones. Tight reporting restrictions were in place, with judge Andrew Macrae warning media to confine their coverage to the basic facts of the trial, following defence lawyers' criticism of earlier reporting. Hui is accused of misconduct in being "favourably disposed to Sun Hung Kai Properties... and Thomas Kwok and Raymond Kwok" while in office in return for payments, according to a Department of Justice indictment. The charges against Hui, who was the city's chief secretary from 2005 to 2007, also relate to rent-free use of luxury apartments and acceptance of unsecured loans, the document said. The other defendants are another Sun Hung Kai director, Thomas Chan, and Francis Kwan, the former non-executive director of investment company New Environmental Energy Holdings. After he was charged in July 2012, Raymond Kwok said: "I believe I have not done anything wrong and that the Hong Kong judiciary system is fair. I will fight the accusations and I hope it will prove my innocence." The case has shocked Hong Kong, where Sun Hung Kai is the biggest property developer by market capitalisation and owns some of the city's most iconic real estate including its tallest tower, the 118-floor International Commerce Centre. Hong Kong is seen as relatively graft-free -- it was ranked the joint 15th cleanest country or territory in 2013 by global corruption watchdog Transparency International. But previous cases have fuelled public suspicions over cosy links between authorities and industry leaders, and the role of the Chinese system of personal connections, or "guanxi", which greases the wheels of business. Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang ended his term in disgrace in June 2012 after admitting to accepting gifts from tycoons in the form of trips on luxury yachts and private jets. And billionaire Joseph Lau was in March found guilty of bribing a former minister in the gambling enclave of Macau in an attempt to purchase a prime development site in the former Portuguese colony. The Kwok trial, which is expected to last 70 days at the city's High Court, will see a cast of prominent British lawyers in action. Clare Montgomery, who represented the Swedish government when it requested the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Britain, is representing Thomas Kwok, the elder brother. John Kelsey-Fry, who successfully defended British footballer Steven Gerrard during a court case over a bar brawl in 2009, will represent Raymond. Another London lawyer, Ian Winter, is to represent Thomas Chan.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today hong kong\s billionaire kwok brothers on trial in huge graft casehong Arab Today, arab today hong kong\s billionaire kwok brothers on trial in huge graft casehong

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Laptop ban sparks ire

GMT 09:02 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Laptop ban sparks ire
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes
Arab Today, arab today AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott

GMT 10:30 2017 Thursday ,23 March

AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott
View News in Arabic - Business: نفط وبتروكيماويات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemeni official warns education is under threat

GMT 12:03 2017 Tuesday ,14 March

Yemeni official warns education is under threat
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"

GMT 07:12 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"
Arab Today, arab today Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 07:39 2017 Monday ,20 March

Dalia Mustafa believes in the presence of ghosts

GMT 19:27 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Boualsof launches "Priestess Kahina" collection

GMT 16:41 2017 Monday ,20 March

Preserving the memory of glaciers

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 13:11 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure

GMT 10:18 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Kuwait's tourism industry to be worth

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 22:39 2017 Thursday ,09 March

Zuhair Murad presents his new collection "Resorts"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday