Billionaire Kwoks Plead Not Guilty to Corruption Charges

Thomas and Raymond Kwok, the billionaire co-chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., pleaded not guilty to corruption charges involving payments and loans to Hong Kong’s former No. 2 official Rafael Hui.

Hui and two other men who were first arrested last year also pleaded not guilty to the charges at the Eastern Magistrate’s court today. Magistrate Li Kwok-wai then ordered the trial to be sent to the High Court. No further hearing dates were set.

The Kwok brothers and the two other men were accused of conspiring with Hui, the city’s former chief secretary, to commit misconduct in public office, according to the charges. Hui was provided with payments and loans totaling about HK$35 million ($4.5 million) for undisclosed favors, according to the charges.

Sun Hung Kai executive director Thomas Chan and Francis Kwan, a former senior executive of the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., are the two other men charged in the case.

Thomas Kwok, 61, and Raymond Kwok, 59, have previously denied wrongdoing and said they will continue to discharge their duties with the assistance of two deputy managing directors promoted in July. Thomas’s son Adam and Raymond’s son Edward were named as alternative directors to their fathers.

Shares of Sun Hung Kai, the world’s biggest developer by value, have gained 3.5 percent since the Kwoks’ arrest last March, making it the worst performer in the nine-member Hang Seng Property Index, which rose 21 percent during the period.

The case is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region v Rafael Hui, Thomas Kwok, Raymond Kwok, Thomas Chan and Francis Kwan, ESCC2530/2012 in Hong Kong’s Eastern Magistrate’s Court.

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