Macau's High Court has rejected a request by seven defence lawyers to replace the lead judge in the trial of alleged crime boss 'Broken Tooth' Wan Kuok-koi. The lawyers had expressed 'grave mistrust' in Mr Justice Fernando Estrela last week and called for his replacement as the head of the panel of three judges who will decide the fate of Wan and nine other defendants. But yesterday morning Mario Paz, one of the signatories to the lawyers' letter, said shortly before the hearing began: 'The High Court turned down our request.' A judicial source said the High Court had thrown out the request late last week because it deemed it unfounded. The lawyers had accused Mr Justice Estrela of pre-judgment towards the defendants for referring to them as 'naturally dangerous' in a court document issued at the end of the trial's first day on October 11. In yesterday's hearing, two police officers accused Wan and the other nine of a wide range of crimes, though they had no concrete evidence of any specific offence. Judicial Police detective Antonio Pereira said based on police intelligence, Wan was the leader of Macau's 14K triad gang, which he described as a secret organisation operating on the fringes of the enclave's casinos. The gang dealt in gaming chips, loansharking, usury, unlawful detention of gamblers on high-interest loans and blackmail, he said. Public Security Police officer Sousa Rodrigues told the court that based on confidential information, some from informants and infiltrators, he had no doubt at all that Wan was the 14K chief. Mr Rodrigues, a Portuguese police officer based in Macau since 1982, said intelligence showed Wan had taken over the gang in 1988 or 1989 after then leader Mou Teng-peng fled when sentenced in his absence to 24 years for murder. He said gangsters forced gamblers to 'donate' part of their winnings and accused Wan of having ordered several murders. Mr Rodrigues declined to reveal the sources of his allegations, saying most of his knowledge was based on experience in the intelligence unit. One of the two women defendants, 51-year-old Lam Iok-in, told the court that Mr Rodrigues had once demanded 3,000 patacas from her when she tried to make a criminal complaint against a third person. She also claimed that he had once asked her to sit on his lap when meeting him in a bar. Mr Rodrigues said her claims were false. The trial at the Court of First Instance includes six defendants in the dock and four who are being tried in their absence. The six defendants present have denied all the charges - relating to organised crime - put to them. The trial, expected to finish late next month, continues tomorrow.