A Hong Kong feng shui master accused of forging the will of late property tycoon Nina Wang appeared in court on Monday at a pre-trial hearing.
Bartender-turned-fortune teller Tony Chan was arrested a year ago for allegedly forging the will of Wang, whom he claimed was his lover, after he lost a claim on her estimated $13 billion estate.
Chan arrived at the magistrates’ court with his wife and listened calmly as prosecutors and his defence lawyers ironed out technical details on the charges, evidence and the calling of witnesses.
Prosecutors allege Chan, 52, forged the will between October 2006 and April 2007, and then presented it as authentic between 2007 and 2010.
His defense team argued that the alleged forgery had been compromised by forensic testing, and requested a stay on proceedings, according to state-run RTHK news website.
No date has been fixed for the start of the trial. The “preliminary inquiry” will resume on Thursday.
Chan built a career advising clients including Wang — once Asia’s richest woman — on feng shui, an ancient Chinese belief system based on harnessing natural and spiritual energies.
He lost his high-profile legal campaign for a piece of her estate in 2010 after a court ruled that a will in Chan’s possession was a fake.
It ruled that the rightful heir to the fortune was the billionaire’s charity, which is run by her siblings.
Known for her outlandish dress and thrifty nature, Wang died of cancer in April, 2007 aged 69, triggering a bitter and very public feud over her fortune.
Wang’s husband, Teddy, who started the family’s Chinachem Group property empire, was abducted in 1990 and declared legally dead in 1999. His body has never been found.
Mo Money Mo Problems!