HK court rejects feng shui master's bid to appeal

AP News
Posted: Apr 06, 2011 2:52 AM
HK court rejects feng shui master's bid to appeal

A feng shui master faced another setback Wednesday in his attempt to inherit the multibillion-dollar fortune of late developer Nina Wang.

The Court of Appeal rejected Tony Chan Chun-chuen's request for permission to file an appeal of an earlier ruling that denied his claim to Hong Kong's highest court, the Court of Final Appeal.

Justice Doreen Le Pichon said Chan's argument did not have "a modicum of merit" and refused to grant his petition for permission to file the appeal.

It's another setback for Chan, who says he and Wang, who died of cancer in 2007 at age 69, were in love. In February, the Court of Appeal rejected Chan's appeal of last year's High Court ruling, which declared as valid a will from 2002 that left Wang's estate to a charity that she and her late husband founded in 1988.

Chan contends that a will dating from 2006 bequeathing him Wang's entire fortune is authentic.

Chan still has one option left. He can ignore Wednesday's ruling and file an application directly with the Court of Final Appeal. His spokeswoman, Kenis Liu, said he will file an application within 28 days.

Wang was once Asia's richest woman and the fortune held through her private Chinachem Group has been estimated at around $100 billion Hong Kong dollars ($12.8 billion).

The Court of Appeal said in February that Chan pursued a "a thoroughly dishonest case" in trying to claim Wang's estate with a forged will.

Chan, who among other things practiced fortune-telling, said during the trial last year that he and Wang shared a passion for cooking, travel, model helicopters and feng shui _ the Chinese art of arranging objects and choosing dates to improve luck.

The trial judge, however, described the 51-year-old former bartender as an opportunist who knew how to ingratiate himself with others.