The Court of Appeal's operations had been affected by the lengthy hearing of the security watchdog's appeal against PCCW's HK$15.93 billion buyout deal, according to Mr Justice Anthony Rogers, one of the judges hearing the case. The Securities and Futures Commission's appeal hearing, which began on April 16, continued for three consecutive days last week as the judges allowed minority shareholders to speak in the court. Their verbal submissions continued yesterday with four more shareholders speaking in the morning session. 'We are running out of time and please don't repeat what the others have said in court,' said Mr Justice Rogers between submissions. 'We understand your situation.' However, he ended the session when someone raised their hand and asked for the chance to speak. 'We are running into big trouble as other cases cannot be heard as the [PCCW] hearing has been going for too long,' Mr Justice Rogers said. Minority shareholder and previous speaker Tam Yuk-kuen yesterday was banned by the judges from submitting additional information on the value of PCCW properties. 'You spoke in the last two days and we know your argument,' Mr Justice Rogers said. 'I can't let this case go on and on. I am lenient compared with other judges, allowing (minority shareholders) to speak. But I am also surprised that there are no objections from the barristers.' The minority shareholders were angry with arrangements in the High Court hearing into the PCCW deal earlier this month that saw Madam Justice Susan Kwan Shuk-hing reject their requests to speak in the court. 'We are happy that the judges in the Court of Appeal allow us to express our comments in the court,' said a minority shareholder outside the court yesterday. Meanwhile, the judges continued to challenge the rationale of the PCCW buyout deal, saying lawyers had not answered questions about the reason for setting the offer price at HK$4.50 per share, and the reason for adopting a scheme of arrangement. 'If you don't answer my questions then I will exercise my discretion to (rule) against the deal,' Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon said.