Former tycoon Ch'ng Poh's hopes of having his $127 million fraud conviction overturned have been shattered by a surprise ruling in the Privy Council. Ch'ng, 55, who is serving a four-year jail term, had pinned his hopes of freedom on a final appeal in London. He wanted the Privy Council to rule that senior Hong Kong judges denied him justice when they refused to consider a statement from disgraced former prosecutor Warwick Reid which claimed he had been framed. But Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Steyn and Lord Nolan denied him permission to pursue the appeal after London QCs had spent three hours putting forward their arguments. His solicitor Robert Ip said: 'He is very disappointed. He had been very optimistic and thought he would be granted leave for the Privy Council appeal.' Details of the case against Reid, who is fighting extradition in New Zealand, were submitted by the prosecution as part of its case in the Privy Council. Reid is accused of plotting to pervert the course of justice by providing the statement which Ch'ng wanted to be considered as part of his appeal. Before the hearing last week a statement on the allegations was prepared by Hong Kong prosecutor John Reading. Reid's statement claimed a prime witness in Ch'ng's 1994 trial, former Ka Wah Bank boss Low Chang-hian, 51, had confessed to him when they were in prison that he was prepared to lie to put the Malaysian businessman behind bars. But in January, the Court of Appeal refused to consider the statement saying Reid was not a reliable source. The Privy Council did not even ask the Crown to respond to arguments that Reid's statement be considered. The judges also rejected claims that Independent Commission Against Corruption tapes of interviews with Mr Low, which were not available at Ch'ng's trial, should be considered.