Residents expect a disappointing announcement soon

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 12:00am

Shanghai residents suing property tycoon Chau Ching-ngai expect an announcement about the results of a government investigation into the developer soon, but are pessimistic about winning their cases.

Two lawsuits are pending against Chau, both launched shortly before the developer was held for investigation of financial problems.

Plaintiffs allege Chau colluded with the Jing'an district government to obtain land for free without adequately compensating residents who were evicted from the area.

The Jing'an District Court held a half-day session for one case involving six residents in late May, but has yet to render a judgment.

The trial date for another case involving ten households has been delayed since June 17, court documents show.

The courts will not move on the two cases until the government renders a decision on Chau's fate, officials say. Some sources say authorities have largely wrapped up the investigation and are now considering administrative disciplinary measures against officials involved.

A plaintiff said: 'If Chau's case is unresolved, then the courts can't do anything.'

Officials summoned some of the plaintiffs last week and told them that they would lose the court cases, people present at the meeting said. At the same time, officials have sought to resolve the disputes by asking the hold-outs how much money they would accept in compensation.

Some of the residents have asked for homes in the original location.