A PORTUGUESE court has delayed a decision on a Hong Kong man being held in Macau and facing extradition to China for murder - and a possible death penalty. It is believed the court would block the removal of Yeung Yuk-yeung, but hesitated to announce its decision during the recent visit to China of the Portuguese President Dr Mario Soares. The Constitutional Court in Lisbon will disclose its decision on May 3. Yeung, 36, was arrested in Macau in December 1993 on charges of strangling a woman in a mainland hotel. Little has been heard of Yeung since his arrest although as a British and Hong Kong passport holder he has received regular visits from British officials based in Hong Kong. In February last year, a statement was lodged with the Macau Supreme Court by the enclave's Xinhua (New China News Agency) branch stating Yeung would not be executed. Portugal, which administers Macau until 1999, has no extradition treaty with China, but the Supreme Court in Macau ruled he could be sent to the mainland. This was followed by an appeal to the Constitutional Court. The guarantee by Xinhua has been repeatedly questioned by Yeung's lawyer, Pedro Redinha. Mr Redinha was unavailable for comment yesterday but legal sources in Macau said unconfirmed reports had filtered through from Portugal that the court would not allow Yeung to be extradited, a move sure to outrage China. One source said the court decision may have been delayed for diplomatic reasons related to the Portuguese President's visit to Beijing and Macau earlier this month. 'Diplomatically, it would not have been a good time to make such an announcement and now with the President in Pakistan and on his way home, they will probably wait until he is back to say anything,' the source said. Macau's Amnesty International representative in Macau, Isabel Maria de Costa Morais, said she held deep concerns that Yeung would face the death penalty if he was returned. 'I suppose we must wait until May 3, but I could not support sending him to China where he may be executed,' Ms Morais said. Under a Portuguese Presidential decree law, extradition requests may be refused in certain circumstances including when the defendant is at risk of being sentenced to death.