Rafael Hui, Kwok brothers plead not guilty, case transferred to High Court
Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan and the billionaire developer Kwok brothers on Friday pleaded not guilty to bribery charges in one of Hong Kong’s most high-profile cases.
Hui, the most prominent ever charged in a corruption case, is accused of receiving payments of HK$34 million from Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen – who co-chair Sun Hung Kai Properties, the world’s largest developer by market value.
The alleged offence took place when Hui was chief secretary – Hong Kong’s second highest ranking official – and an Executive Council member between 2005 and 2009.
Appearing in Eastern Court on Friday afternoon, Hui, the Kwok brothers and two others charged in the case all pleaded guilty to a total of eight charges including bribery and misconduct in public office.
A magistrate transferred the case to the High Court – where severe cases are handled – for a next hearing to be scheduled.
The five defendants have been freed on bail. They are ordered not to discuss directly or indirectly with any listed witnesses any matters related to the case.
The arrest of Hui and the Kwok brothers by the Independent Commission Against Corruption last July shocked Hong Kong. Hui has become the most prominent former official to have been charged over bribery in the city’s history.