Hong Kong feng shui master loses appeal for billionaire's wealth

Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:32am EST
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By James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - The former lover of late Hong Kong billionaire Nina Wang lost an appeal to secure control of her wealth on Monday, when the high court upheld a previous judgment in a bitter probate battle.

A little over a year ago, a Hong Kong court had ruled that a will leaving Wang's entire $4 billion estate, one of Asia's largest fortunes, to her former lover and feng shui master, Tony Chan, was a forgery.

The court said the money would instead go to charity. Chan appealed the decision.

In a brief hearing, a panel of three judges from Hong Kong's court of appeal said they "had no hesitation in dismissing this appeal."

"The first defendant (Chan) has persisted in pursuing a thoroughly dishonest case. In doing so, he has abused the process of the court," Justice Anthony Rogers told a packed courtroom.

Local media reported that Chan, a married father of three, would appeal the new ruling, likely further prolonging the court battle that has gripped a city obsessed with celebrities.

The twists and turns featured revelations of adultery and bizarre rituals associated with feng shui, a Chinese philosophy stressing the influence of outside forces on a building or space.

Wang, known as "Little Sweetie," was one of Asia's wealthiest women with a business empire including the Chinachem Group, Hong Kong's largest private property developer. She died of cancer in 2007, aged 69.   Continued...