A Hong Kong judge has dismissed the jury that was to sit on a nine-member panel overseeing the corruption trial of former chief secretary Rafael Hui and Thomas Kwok and Raymond Kwok, the billionaire co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties, forcing an adjournment of the case.
The dismissal of the jury and the adjournment of the trial Wednesday came as two jurors informed the judge of reasons that were hindering them from sitting on the panel, RTHK reported. Trial of the high-profile case will resume on June 4, according to the report.
The Kwok brothers are charged with providing cash and other inducements to Hui in return for some favors. All three men have pleaded not guilty and denied all charges.
One of the jurors sought to withdraw Wednesday morning because he said jury service would affect his recovery from a double-hernia operation in March and that he needed to return to his one-man business operation. The judge reluctantly dismissed him.
Another juror told the judge that she had planned to travel to South Korea and that the jury duty had forced her to reschedule her flight with extra charge.
“Thank you for your patience. Your services will no longer be required,” the judge is said to have told eight jury members who were present Wednesday morning. One member apparently failed to put in an appearance.
Addressing the woman who had the flight booking, the judge said: “You can now go to Korea.”
The nine jurors were chosen from a 150-strong pool of potential candidates, in a selection process on Monday that took around two hours.
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