Fung shui guru trial all set bar jury

Preliminaries over, US$13b forgery case against former aide to Nina Wang may begin tomorrow

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 4:49am

The long-awaited criminal trial of Peter Chan Chun-chuen - fung shui guru to Asia's richest woman at the time of her death - may begin as early as tomorrow following the jury selection.

Chan yesterday pleaded not guilty before Mr Justice Andrew Macrae on one count of forgery and one count of using a false instrument.

The 53-year-old is accused of forging a will in the name of the late Chinachem chairwoman Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum some time between October 15, 2006, and April 8, 2007.

The will bore the date October 16, 2006.

Wang, who was famous for her bizarre dress sense as well as her fortune, left behind an estimated US$13 billion when she died of cancer aged 69 in 2007.

The second charge relates to him using the allegedly forged will with the intention of inducing others to accept it as genuine between April 4, 2007, and 3 February, 2010.

Chan, who is represented by barrister Andrew Kan, was allowed to remain free on bail pending his return to the court tomorrow when the court will select the jury.

The court was expected to select a jury yesterday morning but the case, originally scheduled for 10am, was adjourned until 2.30pm due to the black rainstorm warning.

At 10.21am, the Judiciary issued an announcement that all hearings and tribunals would resume that afternoon and everyone - including selected jurors - who had been due to attend court in the morning had to come back by 2.30pm.

However, prospective jurors not yet selected were told not to attend court until further notice.

Peter Chan was known as Tony until March, when he renounced geomancy for Christianity.

He was baptised with his new name to symbolise a new beginning. He said at the time: "This is the happiest day in my life. It felt like getting married and I could tell everyone that I am a Christian."