Tycoon Joseph Lau fails to appear in Macau court for corruption case
Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung failed to turn up in a Macau court for the start of a corruption case against him and fellow tycoon Steven Lo Kit-sing.
When the hearing began at 9am on Monday in the Macau Court of First Instance, only Lo and another of the eight defendants in the case appeared.
A lawyer for Lau produced medical documents saying the businessman could not attend the hearing because he was sick.
Prosecutors contested the claim, saying that Lau appeared to be in good shape as media reports showed that Lau had been out and about in the past few days.
The court ordered Lau to give detailed medical proof within 10 days. The case has been adjourned until a date yet to be fixed.
Lau and Lo are accused of offering a HK$20 million bribe to Macau’s disgraced former public works chief Ao Man-long.
The case was originally scheduled for last September but was adjourned for three months because its presiding judge was sick.
Lau, chairman of Chinese Estates Holdings, broke his silence on New Year’s Eve when he was confronted by reporters outside a Wan Chai restaurant. He urged Beijing to show concern about corruption in Hong Kong and Macau.
Lau and Lo, who is chairman of BMA Investment, are accused of bribing Ao to secure land in 2005 for the La Scala luxury residential project – a deal that Macau’s government voided last year.
Ao was sentenced to 29 years in jail in May, partly, on charges of accepting a bribe from the developers.