A landmark challenge to Hong Kong's right to extradite fugitives to the US has been lodged at the High Court following a ruling in America that the SAR is not a country and so cannot enter into such a treaty. Peter Chong Bing-keung, 56, wanted in the US for alleged conspiracy to murder, drug trafficking, arson and criminal intimidation, claims there is no legal basis for sending him back. The case, lodged at the High Court this week, could have far-reaching implications. Chong's lawyers base their case on last month's ruling by American District Judge Peter Dorsey that there is no valid extradition treaty between the US and Hong Kong. The judge's reasoning was that, since the handover, Hong Kong has not been a sovereign country and therefore, under US law, cannot enter into an extradition agreement. There is no agreement between China and the US. Solicitor Colin Cohen said: 'We are going to argue that since the judge does not recognise the treaty, says it has got to be country to country and does not recognise Hong Kong as a country as such, Hong Kong should have regard to this. 'We have drawn to the attention of the court what we say the impact of that ruling is.' The habeas corpus case, in which Chong is fighting for his release from a Hong Kong jail, is expected to go before a Court of First Instance judge in the next few days. If the judge rules there is sufficient merit in the arguments for the case to proceed, a full-scale court battle with the Government will take place. A government source said there would inevitably be concern that if an extradition agreement was knocked down, Hong Kong would become a haven for fugitives. But he added: 'We have lodged an appeal against the US ruling which we are confident will be successful.' Chong failed in his first legal bid to halt the extradition on Tuesday. The Court of Appeal rejected his argument that the case against him is so weak it is unfair to send him back to the US, but the so-called 'China point' was not raised. The American ruling led to the release, on bail, of John Cheung Kwan-yee, 48, who is wanted in Hong Kong on 34 fraud charges.