Hong Kong’s justice minister has denied any wrongdoing over her role in two international arbitration cases since taking up her government post. It took Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah a whole day to clarify on Friday that she had already declared the two jobs along with four others before she took office in January last year, but did not see the need to report a seventh case because she had already quit as the chair. Speaking from the sidelines of a public event on Friday evening, Cheng clarified she had already declared two of the three World Bank arbitration cases reported in an Apple Daily front page. “Of the three cases, two of them had been declared to the chief executive when I took office,” Cheng said. The justice minister said these cases were among six she already had approval from Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to continue working on after taking office. “In the six cases, some I had to finish giving an award, some I had to finish the interim orders or directions,” Cheng said. She said the third case did not warrant any declaration, as she had resigned from it before taking office. She has no more involvement in any of these cases, she added. She did not make clear the details of the three cases, saying the information was publicly available. Soon after being appointed justice chief last year, Cheng, a top arbitrator, declared to Lam that she was involved in six legal cases “close to completion”, but no details were released. Lam allowed her to continue with the cases, with the resulting income donated to charity. The three arbitration cases reported by the Chinese-language newspaper involved separate disputes between three energy companies respectively against the governments of Bulgaria, Spain and Romania. The last involved the highest claim amount against the Romanian government of up to US$4.4 billion. Cheng was appointed to head the respective arbitration panels from February and June 2016, the latest one in October 2017. She resigned first from the Bulgaria case three days after she joined the government on January 6, 2018. Then she resigned one month and nearly three months after, respectively, for the remaining two cases. It took Cheng nearly a whole day to make the clarification on whether she declared the jobs or not. On Friday morning, the secretary would not tell the media whether she had declared the three jobs as reported in the newspaper – although asked the questions for four times – only saying she had resigned as chair once an order of award was delivered or signed. She gave a clearer answer only in the evening when she was confronted by reporters with the same set of questions. The embattled secretary has been embroiled in controversies since her appointment, including a scandal involving illegal structures in her and her husband’s houses. Recently she has faced criticism for pushing through a controversial government bill to amend Hong Kong’s fugitive law.