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Peter Chan Chun-chuen, described by a judge as insidious, shameless and extremely greedy, was jailed on Friday for 12 years for forging a will purportedly left by late billionaire Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum.
The 53-year-old former fung shui practitioner, previously known as Tony Chan, was on Thursday found guilty of forgery and using a false instrument.
In handing down the sentence, Mr Justice Andrew Macrae said he intended to adopt the maximum sentence of 14 years as a starting point but reduced it by two years for different factors including the quick manner Chan's lawyer conducted the criminal trial.
Macrae also called Chan shameless for abusing Wang's trust and a charlatan. He said the scheme was nasty and insidious because Chan would have taken the legacy that Wang had intended for her charitable organisation.
Chan looked dazed as he heard the sentence while his wife Tam Miu-ching, his brother Ricky Chan Chun-kwok and his daughter Polly Lon Pui-chun were calm.
Before the hearing started, Chan fought to hold back his tears in the dock.
Commenting on the sentence, Police chief inspector Siu Wai-sing of the commercial crime bureau said the 12-year term was reasonable and would have a deterrent effect.
“We are very pleased about the result. It shows Hong Kong has a sound judicial system. It also sends out the positive signal that deception will not be tolerated,” he said.
Siu, who was in charge of the investigation, also criticised Chan for engaging in delaying tactics in court.
“[Chan] made changes to his legal team five times and once applied to conduct DNA tests overseas. The judge said all were attempts to delay court proceedings,” Siu said.
After learning Chan’s sentence, his family members were surrounded by reporters asking for their comments as they tried to leave the court. They were forced back into the court building before leaving separately.
They did not give any comment.
Video: Peter Chan's brother and daughter are forced back by dozens of reporters outside the courtroom on Friday.