Family has given up hope of HK stepping in to help plight of a businessman charged with fraud The family of a Hong Kong businessman who has been charged with defrauding two state-backed companies fears that political pressure will see him convicted despite a lack of evidence. Joyce Chan Yuet-chun, the daughter of Chan Tsz-cheung, 57 - who has been detained on the mainland for 21/2 years - said she had given up hope of the Hong Kong government stepping in to protect the rights of her father as it had done little so far. Chan appeared in Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court last week and pleaded not guilty to fraud. He was arrested in October 2001 but only charged last month. The case involves a loan of US$2.9 million from the Guangdong government-backed Guangnan (Holdings) to Jiangmen government-backed Yet Post International in 1994. Yet Post borrowed the money after Chan's Hong Kong company, Haw Well Trading, approached it for a loan. A change in mainland policy left Chan with problems repaying a loan of more than HK$5 million to Yet Post. After Yet Post went into liquidation in July 2001, Guangnan started to pursue the outstanding amount from Chan. Ms Chan said: 'The lawyer told us there was insufficient evidence to convict my father. But given the background of the firms involved, there may be some political pressure to penalise him. We're not optimistic about the situation.' Chan testified that he had had no intention of defrauding on the loan because he had already repaid 75 per cent of the original loan to Yet Post and his lawyer argued that the case had already been settled in a Hong Kong court in 1995. But the prosecution insisted Hong Kong did not have jurisdiction because the US$2.9 million was from the mainland. Ms Chan said the Hong Kong government had provided little help, with officials regularly citing the principle of 'one country, two systems' as the reason for not interfering. She also criticised the notification system under which the mainland and Hong Kong authorities are supposed to alert each other if residents are detained in each other's jurisdictions so that the families of the detainees can be kept updated. 'It's us who notify the Hong Kong government on the latest situation of my father,' Ms Chan said. 'The government can't do anything to protect a Hong Kong resident.' Legislator Ip Kwok-him also criticised the Hong Kong government for only adopting a 'messenger' role between the mainland authorities and the families concerned. He is seeking to meet the Security Bureau to ask it to take up a more active role in protecting the rights of Hong Kong people, such as protesting if local governments on the mainland detain Hong Kong residents beyond the legal time limit and taking the case to a higher level if the protest is ignored. The Security Bureau said it was concerned about the legitimate rights of Hong Kong people detained on the mainland and would provide assistance in accordance with the 'one country, two systems' principle. It added that it had been actively following up every request for help and passing on the concerns to the relevant mainland departments.