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London Lawyers Approved for Kissel’s Hong Kong Murder Retrial

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Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Two London-based lawyers can appear for Nancy Kissel and prosecutors in her retrial for the murder of her Merrill Lynch & Co. banker husband, Hong Kong Judge Robert Tang said, rejecting the opposition of the local bar.

“We are dealing with a very complex and difficult murder trial,” said Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos. “It is very important that the prosecution gets it right.”

Tang granted applications for David Perry to represent the prosecution and for Edward Fitzgerald to appear for Kissel in her retrial scheduled for January. The 46-year-old mother of three was tried and convicted in 2005 for murdering her husband. Hong Kong’s highest court found in February that prosecutors had introduced prejudicial evidence and quashed her conviction.

Nicholas Cooney, appearing for the Hong Kong Bar Association, told the court today that a lawyer from outside of the city wasn’t required.

“The complexity has existed since the outset of this case,” he said. “There are local counsel competent for this.”

Zervos described Perry as an experienced litigator of “extraordinarily high standing.”

Derek Chan, appearing for Kissel, argued Fitzgerald is experienced with murder charge defenses involving “diminished responsibility, provocation, and battered woman syndrome.”

In her 2005 trial, Kissel admitted killing her husband Robert Kissel, then the head of Merrill’s distressed assets business in Asia, on Nov. 2, 2003. Prosecutors alleged she first drugged him with a sedative-laced milkshake before bludgeoning him in their bedroom with an eight-pound statuette.

To contact the reporter on this story: Debra Mao in Hong Kong at dmao5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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