Nina Wang

Push to dump criminal charges

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 September, 2005, 12:00am


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Lawyers for Nina Wang are likely to lobby for criminal charges against her to be dropped following yesterday's unanimous decision in the Court of Final Appeal.

But a lawyer for losing plaintiff Wang Din-shin said while the decision marked the 'end of the road' for his client, he did not believe the Commercial Crime Bureau would necessarily drop the criminal case.

Nina Wang was charged in December 2002 by the Commercial Crime Bureau with forging her husband's will after the Court of First Instance first ruled against her in November 2002.

She was released on $5 million bail and the prosecution has yet to reach the courts.

Lawyer Albert Tsang Hon-kin said police had their own evidence gained from thorough investigations into whether Ms Wang forged the documents.

'[She] is such a big figure in Hong Kong that they did not take the decision to investigate her lightly,' Mr Tsang said. 'I do not believe we can say now whether the criminal charges will be dropped because of the Court of Final Appeal decision.'

Mr Tsang also said if the criminal case was successful, his client would be able to begin another civil case based on the conviction and any fresh evidence raised during the trial. But Johnson Stokes and Master partner Brian Gilchrist, for Nina Wang, said the evidence in the criminal case was almost identical and would have to be dismissed.

'There is now no reason for the case to proceed any further. The document has been proved to be genuine, the signature is not forged, so I feel strongly and personally that it should be withdrawn,' Mr Gilchrist said.

'There is relief there because litigation is always a lottery, but there is certainly a degree of relief that this is over,' he said.

There has been no indication of whether costs will be sought from Mr Wang.

The prosecution's case against Nina Wang, which is about to move to the committal stage, had been considerably weakened by yesterday's decision, he said.

If police do not drop the charges, Nina Wang can apply to the court for them to be dropped because she was not found guilty of forgery or any other criminal offence.

A representative from the Commercial Crime Bureau was present when yesterday's ruling was announced.

But he refused to comment on the case against Nina Wang while it was still being investigated.

Mr Tsang said that even if his client's case had been a success, taking the reins of the Chinachem empire could still have taken up to six years.