Li dismisses fears for firm as court hears Lau challenge

Top News | Gary Poon 16 May 2019

Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, son of tycoon Li Ka-shing and chairman of CK Hutchison Group, says its business would not be affected by the government's proposed amendments on the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance.

When a minority shareholder asked whether the group would withdraw its business in Hong Kong and invest more overseas if the amendment was passed in the Legislative Council, Li said: "We are law-abiding citizens in every country - not fugitives."

He emphasized the ordinance has no direct relationship with the company's business.

Li had refused to answer a similar question in a press conference in March.

According to the 2018 annual report, Europe is the group's largest revenue source, with 47 percent, while the revenue in Hong Kong is only 10 percent, down from 11 percent in 2017.

Meanwhile, the High Court will hear the judicial review applied by fugitive tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung next month.

According to the document, Lau points out that the current ordinance bans Hong Kong from handing over fugitives to the mainland, embodying "one-country, two systems" and ensures Hong Kong people would fall under mainland law. Lau said he chose to marry Kimbee Chan Hoi-wan, with whom he had three children in Hong Kong, as he believes the local law system would protect him.

Lau, the former chairman of Chinese Estates Holdings, and another Hong Kong businessman, Steven Lo Kit-sing, were convicted in 2014 by the Macau Court of First Instance for bribery and money laundering.

Lau was sentenced to five years in prison, while Lo got three months in jail.

But the duo never served their sentences, as they have remained in Hong Kong, which has no extradition arrangement with Macau.

Court sentences stay valid for 15 years in Macau, meaning Lau and Lo would be jailed if they either entered Macau or were extradited there before 2029.

Meanwhile, the president of Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Patrick Law Fu-yuen, said CPAs are well known for their strict discipline, and he is confident members will abide by the laws of different regions.

gary.poon@singtaonewscorp.com

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