A mainland court has found that business agreements purportedly signed by a murdered Hong Kong executive before his death were forgeries. Constant Li Chi-fai, 38, was found in his Tai Wai office in December 2000 gagged, blindfolded and bound with his throat slit. Police believe the killing may have been related to shady business deals the dead man had undertaken on the mainland. Li's employer, British businessman Alan Crawley, said four forged documents related to a US$15 million (HK$117 million) deal that soured about the time of the death. Mr Crawley said the Zao Qing District Court in Guangdong had found in favour of his firm, Pacific Ores Metals & Chemicals, in a recent judgment. The court ordered mainland firm Duo Luo Shan to return K-salt - a valuable white powder that can be refined to make tantalum metal, which is used in jet engines - owed to Pacific Ores. But the value of the amount of K-salt in question has since declined from between US$5 million and US$6 million to between US$1 million and US$2 million. The mainland firm has appealed against the judgment, but it has restored Mr Crawley's faith in the mainland. 'So many people talk down China's courts,' he said. 'I have had so many people say, 'What are you doing? You're wasting your time'.' Large law firms in Hong Kong had advised him there was no point pursuing a case on the mainland against a Chinese firm but he had persisted, using a mainland lawyer, he said. In March, Mr Crawley said he was terrified the killer or killers might come after him. Despite evidence suggesting Li ran a secret business on the side while working for Mr Crawley, he said he still missed his employee of almost 17 years, who had risen to general manager by the time he died. 'He was a ratbag but he was a nice guy . . . He used to help me with my Cantonese,' he said. Police have offered a reward of $300,000 for information relating to the case, but no arrests have been made.