Walter Kwok 'in the clear' on graft probe
The ousted chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, appears to have been cleared in a corruption investigation, more than a year after he was arrested.
The property giant told the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing yesterday that the Independent Commission Against Corruption had lifted all bail conditions imposed on Kwok.
Kwok has been on bail since his arrest by the graft-buster in May last year.
A source said the move suggested the agency had closed its investigation into Kwok and cleared him unconditionally.
Meanwhile, the legal woes of his brothers, Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, continue in the high-profile criminal prosecution. Raymond Kwok faces two charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and furnishing false information, while Thomas Kwok faces two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan faces a total of eight charges. They have pleaded not guilty.
Whether prosecutors call Walter Kwok as a witness in the upcoming trial will depend on whether he has given any information useful to them.
The trial will be heard in the Court of First Instance in May.
Walter Kwok, an SHKP non-executive director, was arrested on May 3 last year, about two months after his brothers were arrested.
That month, SHKP said he had been arrested in connection with an investigation into "an offence or offences suspected to have been committed under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance". He was released on bail.
A legal source said that since he had been arrested more than a year ago, and given that the trial of the others would take place soon, it was unlikely Walter Kwok would be charged subsequently.
Another legal source said last month that he was not on the list of prosecution witnesses.