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Wang trial's love and feng shui

THE alleged lover of the late Nina Wang, Asia's richest woman when she died, testified yesterday for the first time in the Hong Kong court case that will decide whether he will inherit her multibillion-dollar estate.

Feng shui adviser Tony Chan Chun-chuen, 49, claims he was romantically involved with Wang and that the real estate tycoon left her fortune to him in an October 2006 will.

But the Chinachem Charitable Foundation - which was set up by Wang and her late husband - holds a July 2002 will that bequeaths Wang's estate to the charity.

Testifying for the first time since the trial began in May, Chan said he and Wang were having an affair when his wife was pregnant with his eldest son.

"We were already together then. She was already calling me her husband," Chan said in response to questions from Lawrence Lok, the lawyer representing the foundation.

Chen said he was sleeping at Wang's apartment at the time.

Chan also said yesterday he previously held different jobs including bartender, waiter, machinery salesman, market researcher and the owner of a computer parts exporting business before becoming a celebrity consultant on feng shui - the traditional Chinese practice of improving fortunes by the placement of objects.

Known in Hong Kong as "Little Sweetie" for her girlish outfits and pigtails, Wang inherited her husband's fortune after an eight-year court battle against her father-in-law.

Her husband was abducted in 1990, and despite the family paying US$33 million in ransom, he was never released and his body never found.

Wang went on to build her husband's company, Chinachem, into a massive property developer, with office towers and apartment complexes throughout Hong Kong.

Wang died of cancer in April 2007 at age 69.

In 2007, Forbes magazine ranked Wang as the world's 204th richest person with a fortune of US$4.2 billion.

It is not clear how much her assets are currently worth. Chinachem is a private company and is not required to disclose its finances, but media estimates of her net worth range from HK$50 billion (US$6.5 billion) to HK$100 billion.


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