Legal battles mount for former chief secretary Rafael Hui

Writ from Chong Hing Bank is the third calling for former chief secretary to settle his debts

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 August, 2013, 7:26pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 3:23am

Embattled former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan faces yet another claim from a bank for more than HK$9 million in outstanding debts, a court document shows.

The latest claim followed legal action taken last week by a company, owned by Sun Hung Kai Properties, claiming Hui also owed them more than HK$3 million related to a loan taken out in 2004.

Hui, who is embroiled in the most high-profile corruption case in Hong Kong’s history, is jointly facing bribery charges with property developer SHKP co-chairmen Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen. The case is expected to go to trial next May.

In a High Court writ released on Tuesday, Chong Hing Bank is claiming HK$9.8 million it said it loaned Hui based on three facility letters and a credit card. The date of loan granting is not specified in the court document.

The bank, which is also asking to be reimbursed for the cost of its legal challenge, claims that Hui is in breach of the terms of the facility letters and agreement.

Further legal proceedings will be stayed if Hui pays the amount claimed and HK$10,045 for costs, the writ says.

In two High Court writs filed last week, Honour Finance, owned by SHKP, claims HK$3.16 million from Hui, 65, as guarantor of a loan based on a facility letter between Honour Finance and Top Faith Enterprises dated May 19, 2004. The identity of the lender and the claim amount match the particulars of offences Hui faces in the criminal case brought by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

The ICAC alleges that, between 2000 and 2009, Hui took more than HK$34 million in bribes, and had the rent-free use of a flat in Happy Valley, from other defendants in return for favours.

In March, Hui, Thomas Kwok, Raymond Kwok and two others pleaded not guilty in Eastern Court to a total of eight joint charges filed by the ICAC.

Hui faces all eight charges, including one of misconduct in public office. The ICAC alleges that when he was chief secretary from June 2005 to June 2007, he failed to declare or disclose provisions and annual extensions of a HK$3 million unsecured loan from Honour Finance – the claimant in the civil suit.

Hui is also charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, in which he was allegedly “favourably disposed to” Sun Hung Kai Properties, its associated companies or Raymond Kwok in return for HK$4.12 million from SHKP through Top Faith – owned and controlled by Hui.