Kwok brothers, Rafael Hui back in court in graft case
Lai Ying-kit and Thomas Chan
Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan and properties tycoon brothers Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen appeared in court again on Friday for a preliminary hearing in their corruption trial.
Hui, the Kwok brothers and two others arrived in the Eastern Court on Friday afternoon separately. Raymond Kwok and Thomas Kwok are co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong’s largest developer by asset value.
Prosecutors told the court 72 witnesses would give statements during the trial, up from 41 in previous hearing.
The defendants were not required to enter plea at this stage.
Acting Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai extended bail for the five and set the date for a next hearing for March 8.
Chainrai said the court would decide whether the trial should open in the High Court or a district-level magistrate court.
Hui, 64, Raymond Kwok, 59, and Thomas Kwok, 61, were charged with bribery and misconduct in public office.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption alleges that Hui took more than HK$34 million in bribes from the billionaire brothers in return for favours.
Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, 66, Sun Hung Kai’s executive director, and Francis Kwan Hung-sang, 62, a former Hong Kong Stock Exchange official, have been charged with conspiring with the Kwoks to offer some of the bribes.
The tycoon brothers on Friday were represented by Graham Harris SC and Gerard McCoy SC.
The prosecution team is led by prominent British barrister David Perry.
Magistrate Chainrai reminded the defendants not to discuss directly or indirectly with any listed witnesses any matters related to the present proceedings.
Some of the witnesses were the employees of Sun Hung Kai Properties, the court heard.