Hong Kong hotel owner may be victim of murder on mainland, court told

But letter read out in court did not give further details on circumstances of Kimberley Hotel owner Lau Hei-wing’s death

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 June, 2017, 10:43pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 June, 2017, 11:26pm

A Hong Kong hotelier whose death was reported recently could have been a victim of murder, a court heard on Thursday.

A letter written by a solicitor firm was read out at the High Court, saying Lau Hei-wing, owner of Kimberley Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, was possibly “murdered [on the mainland] in the hands of those guarding him”.

The name of the party represented by the firm was not read out during the estate proceedings sought by his wife Liu Fangfei, a programme host at China Central Television. The court was also not given further details on the circumstances of his death, nor was it told how the speculation arose.

But Lau’s death certificate had been obtained, the court was told.

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News of his death were reported in local press in April when he failed to attend a criminal trial. He was accused of defrauding the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) of HK$200 million in loans last November.

His lawyers at the time told the court he did not abscond, but was on the mainland. It prompted the court to issue an arrest warrant.

Liu went to court to demand a solicitor be appointed as an estate administrator for the time being so the legal representative could ascertain the full value of Lau’s assets. Her application was uncontested, but the letter was brought up as the court had been charged to consider all possible scenarios in dealing with Lau’s assets.

Lawyers representing Liu said despite the serious allegations, the party issuing the letter was neutral on the matter of the management of Lau’s probate, urging the judge to treat Liu’s application as a non-contentious one.

Master Simon Lo Kit-man agreed, saying it would not be necessary for the case to proceed to a proper trial.