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Hong Kong's Billionaire Developer Thomas Kwok Jailed for Five Years

Thomas Kwok's high-profile trial galvanized public anger over Hong Kong's elite.
Image: Francis Kwan and Thomas Kwok sit in a prison van as they leave the High Court in Hong Kong
Former Hong Kong Stock Exchange official Francis Kwan (L) and former co-chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties Thomas Kwok (C) sit in a prison van as they leave the High Court in Hong Kong December 23, 2014. Reuters

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong court sentenced a billionaire property developer Tuesday to five years in prison for corruption after a high-profile trial that galvanized public anger over the city's elite. High Court Justice Andrew Macrae sentenced Thomas Kwok after a jury found him guilty last week of conspiracy for making around $1.1 million in payments to city official Rafael Hui. Macrae also fined Kwok around $64,000.

Macrae sentenced Hui to seven and a half years in prison after the jury convicted him of misconduct and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. At the time of the offenses, Hui was Hong Kong's No. 2 public official. Macrae also ordered Hui to pay back the $1.4 million he was convicted of illegally receiving.

Kwok and his brother Raymond are joint chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. and have overseen the construction of some of the city's landmark buildings. During sentencing, Macrae said the semiautonomous city needed to protect its reputation for good government. "It is vitally important in these times that Hong Kong's government and business community remain and are seen to remain corruption-free," Macrae said.

— The Associated Press