An American businessman wanted for alleged money laundering in the US claims he is being detained unlawfully in Hong Kong as a result of the Chief Executive abusing his powers. Robert Henry Cosby, former president of a company called Softpoint Inc, says an order by Tung Chee-hwa to proceed with his extradition is defective. In a written application lodged with the High Court, Cosby says the order wrongly states he is wanted for conspiracy to defraud. He is seeking to have the order quashed and to be released from Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre. A declaration that the Chief Executive 'abused the power given to him' under the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance is also sought. Cosby says he left the United States on January 12 and has since travelled extensively to Canada, Europe, the Far East and the Caribbean on business. He did not know when he began his travels that a grand jury in Reno, Nevada, had issued a secret indictment on December 2 last year, charging him with money laundering and another offence relating to the movements of funds belonging to his company. In his application, Cosby says the American authorities knew where he was before he left the US but did not execute the warrant for his arrest. But Interpol obtained a warrant in Hong Kong on July 15 and he was arrested at Chek Lap Kok airport two days later as he was about to leave for a short business trip to the mainland. The Chief Executive signed an 'authority to proceed' with extradition on September 10 but it wrongly stated Cosby was wanted 'in respect of the offence of conspiracy to defraud'. His lawyers argued when he appeared at Eastern Court last month that the order was defective. But the magistrate ruled he did not have the power to set it aside. 'There is no mention in any of the documents delivered by the US Government of the applicant being wanted for prosecution in respect of the offence of conspiracy to defraud,' says the document lodged with the High Court. It adds that, under US law, Cosby cannot be charged with an offence different to those contained in the indictment and warrant of arrest.