The formal trial of one of Hong Kong’s most high-profile corruption cases will start Thursday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
Former chief secretary Rafael Hui, the two co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (SHKP, 00016.HK), Thomas Kwok and Raymond Kwok, and two other defendants will appear before the High Court in what has been described as an unprecedented case that has already gone through 10 preliminary hearings.
The trial is expected to take 70 days, with more than 80 witnesses to be summoned by the plaintiff, including former secretary for housing, planning and lands Michael Suen and former permanent secretary for planning and lands Rita Lau.
The five defendants, including SHKP executive director Thomas Chan and former senior vice president at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (00388.HK) Francis Kwan, are charged with eight counts of misconduct in public office, providing false information and conspiracy to offer advantages to a public servant. All charges are related to Hui. Thomas Kwok is charged with two counts and Raymond Kwok, three.
Early last month the court allowed some of the charges to be split for separate trials for certain defendants, but the judge banned media from reporting the approval in order to avoid any impact on future trials.
The court has heard that Hui had taken on consultancy contracts and received loans, cash, free accommodation at luxury apartments, among other interests, which altogether amounted to over HK$40 million (US$5.16 million).
The rewards were given to Hui for providing favor to the listed company, its subsidiaries and associated companies during his duty in the period from June 7, 2000 to January 20, 2009, when he served as chief secretary, Executive Council member, chairman of the Steering Committee of the West Kowloon Project and chief executive of the Mandatory Provident Fund Authority.
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