Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan will face a new charge that he "concealed"' alleged payments of more than HK$11 million when Hong Kong's biggest ever corruption case returns to court next week.
The fresh accusation emerged seven days before Hui, 64, and the billionaire Kwok brothers, who head Sun Hung Kai Properties - the world's biggest property developer by market value - are due to return to court.
They are scheduled to enter pleas in a case that has attracted global publicity.
Prosecutors have also amended the original charges to allege that Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, 61, and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, 59, paid Hui HK$8.5 million in bribes - HK$150,000 more than was first outlined.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said yesterday: "Having reviewed the available evidence, prosecutors have amended 'charge five' to reflect the fact that the total amount of money paid by Thomas Kwok to Rafael Hui was HK$8.5 million.
"The charge had originally identified the amount paid as HK$8.35 million."
The added charge of failing to declare or disclose or conceal his receipt of HK$11.182 million from SHKP executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen, 66, former Hong Kong Stock Exchange official Francis Kwan Hung-sang, 62, and others forms part of an existing conspiracy charge.
The prosecuting authorities have decided not to proceed on the charge of conspiracy to offer advantages to a public servant against Hui and Raymond Kwok. But they will allege misconduct in public office relating to the alleged HK$11 million payment.
The spokeswoman said the decision was taken "following a further review of the available evidence".
She added: "We have concluded that this charge is not part of the core allegations against the defendants and, in light of the other charges, that it is unnecessary to proceed further.''
Next Friday, the prosecution will start a committal hearing - at which the defendants will indicate their pleas - before the presiding magistrate decides whether the case should be forwarded to the High Court.
More than 70 witnesses will be called when the case is expected to go to trial next year.