FUGITIVE businessman Jerry Lui Kin-hong has turned to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in a last-ditch attempt to avoid standing trial in the territory. Last week, the Supreme Court rejected the former tobacco executive's second appeal for a stay of extradition to face bribery charges. The time limit in the appeals process expired several days ago. But the State Department agreed not to send Lui home until Ms Albright considers his 11th-hour appeal. Lui's legal team conceded yesterday he had exhausted all legal avenues and could be put on a plane to Hong Kong any day. The Secretary of State has the legal power to overturn any extradition decision for reasons of political or national security. But as the US administration has put enormous effort into making sure Lui is extradited, Ms Albright is unlikely to change course. The Hong Kong and US governments have strenuously fought Lui's attempts to block extradition. They fear a victory for him would place the current US-Hong Kong extradition programme in limbo. Lui's greatest victory was when a US District Court judge blocked his return, ruling he could not be guaranteed a fair trial after the handover. But the US Appeals Court overturned the decision, saying the extradition treaty allowed for such cases. Lui, 41, has been wanted in Hong Kong for several years for allegedly receiving bribes to supply British-American Tobacco Company products to a syndicate smuggling them into China.