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Sweetie's will under scrutiny in HK court

A SUPPOSED will that left the multibillion-dollar estate of Asia's richest woman to a feng shui adviser was likely part of a Chinese ritual to improve her health and not a real will, a lawyer said yesterday.

An opposing attorney, however, said his client and the late Nina Wang were lovers and that she wanted to bequeath her estate to him out of genuine affection.

On the second of a 40-day trial to rule on competing wills for Wang's fortune, barrister Denis Chang, who represents the Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd, said the late businesswoman was deeply superstitious and sought advice on feng shui - the traditional Chinese art of improving fortunes by actions such as placement of objects - especially after she was diagnosed with cancer in January 2004.

The 2006 will that businessman and feng shui adviser Tony Chan Chun-chuen claims leaves Wang's estate to him uses language that "has the flavor of a traditional life-extending ceremony," Chang told Hong Kong's High Court.

Wang also made three payments of 688 million HK dollars (US$89 million) to Chan in 2005 and 2006 as part of the same effort to improve her health, Chang said. Wang died in April 2007 at age 69 of cancer.

Chan's lawyer, Ian Mill, argued Chan and Wang were romantically involved and the will and cash payments were genuine gestures, because "he had been her confidante, her companion when possible and the object of her love for the last 15 years of her life."

He said Chan has letters, videos and tape recordings of their conversations - even a pair of her pigtails - to help prove the relationship.


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