Jail term sparks two-system fears

Local | Cindy Wan 15 Mar 2019

Lawmaker James To Kun-sun has issued a warning about the differences in Hong Kong and the mainland's legal systems as a local businessman is serving an 18-year prison sentence in the mainland after failing to repay a bank loan made in the SAR.

The Democratic Party's To said the case should set off alarm bells about the contrasting definition of civil and criminal cases in the two systems.

He added that it should also be food for thought since the government is seeking to amend the law to allow the extradition of fugitives to jurisdictions that have no long-term extradition agreements with Hong Kong, including the mainland and Taiwan.

Kwok Chun-sang, director of Hong Kong-registered Victory HK, signed a mortgage agreement with China Merchants Bank to borrow US$14.5 million (HK$113.1 million) in 1996 in Hong Kong

About 25 percent of the total stock rights of a mainland firm held under Victory HK was pledged.

Since Victory HK failed to repay its debt, Kwok was arrested in Shenzhen in November 2007 for concealing 62.12 million yuan (HK$72.49 million) in dividends from the firm that belonged to the bank.

He was convicted and sentenced by Changchun Intermediate People's Court of contract fraud in 2009.

To, who is helping the 57-year-old, said the mortgage contract was signed and constructed under SAR law and thus the case should have been dealt with by a Hong Kong court.

He also criticized the Changchun Intermediate People's Court for breaching the one country, two systems principle.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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