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Birmingham City Owner’s Court Bid Dismissed as ‘Abuse’

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- A bid by Carson Yeung, owner of the English soccer club Birmingham City, to transfer a HK$721 million ($92.9 million) money laundering case against him to the High Court was dismissed as “frivolous” by a Hong Kong judge.

Judge Alan Wright said in a ruling today that the motion was an abuse of process designed to disrupt a District Court trial scheduled for next month. Kevin Zervos, the director of public prosecutions, argued earlier today that it was a delay tactic because Yeung was seeking to send the case to a court that could impose harsher sentences.

“They’re arguing they want to go to a higher court because he deserves a higher sentence if convicted,” Zervos said. The bid reflected the ‘procrastination and delay employed by the applicant to put off the trial.”

Birmingham International Holdings Ltd., the West Midlands-based team’s parent company, has been suspended from trading in Hong Kong since June 2011, when Yeung, its chairman, was charged with five counts of money laundering. Yeung’s lawyers in November won a five-month delay to the trial after arguing that more time was needed to gather evidence to show how the hairdresser became a successful businessman.

Yeung’s lawyer Daniel Fung, said that “many people prefer a High Court trial.”

The case is Yeung Ka-sing Carson and Secretary of Justice, HCAL59/2013 in the Court of First Instance. The money laundering case is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Yeung Ka-sing Carson, DCCC860/2011 in the Hong Kong District Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Douglas Wong in Hong Kong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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