Jailed former fung shui master Peter Chan Chun-chuen filed an appeal yesterday against his conviction and 12-year jail term for forging and using a fake will said to belong to late tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum, a source familiar with the situation said.
The latest move came five days after Chan, 53, previously known as Tony Chan, was sentenced by Court of First Instance judge Andrew Macrae, who described him as "shameless", "cruel", "greedy" and "a charlatan".
Chan was last week found guilty of forgery and using a false instrument. He attempted unsuccessfully to use the forged will to claim Wang's HK$83 billion estate as the sole beneficiary, in a drawn-out fight with the Chinachem Charitable Foundation, which Wang set up.
He was also ordered by the court to pay more than HK$2 million in costs incurred by the prosecution during a preliminary inquiry he requested.
Chan, who is now locked up in an individual cell in Stanley Prison, has to first convince the Court of Appeal that leave, in other words permission, to appeal should be granted to him.
To argue that his jail term should be reduced, Chan has to demonstrate that the sentence was "manifestly excessive". But he also risks the possibility that the appeal court will increase the jail term if the appeal judges decide that the present one was not enough to reflect the seriousness of his crime.
To argue that the conviction should be overturned, Chan has to persuade the appeal court that the trial judge made mistakes when he directed the jury on how they should reach a conclusion on whether Chan should be found guilty.
Alternatively, and with greater difficulty, he can also challenge the jury's verdict, claiming it was flawed.
Chan's representatives said they would make no comment.