Carson Yeung, the Birmingham City owner charged with money laundering in Hong Kong, was told he could not leave the city a day before he was due to fly to the UK to sort out the beleaguered football club’s affairs in person.
Mr Yeung, who is banned from travelling while awaiting his trial in December, was granted a one-time exemption by a district court judge on condition that he doubled his bail and that he would only stay in the UK from September 15-18.
His lawyer Clive Grossman had argued that his client owed a fiduciary duty to his shareholders and that his prominent public standing meant there was little risk that he would abscond.
However, the prosecution insisted that he posed a flight risk and appealed to the Hong Kong High Court, which on Wednesday overturned the lower court’s decision.
Mr Yeung and his father have been accused of laundering HK$720m (US$92m) between 2001 and 2007. Most of his bank accounts have been frozen so he can no longer inject much-needed capital into the club, which has had trouble generating sufficient income since it was relegated from the English Premier League last season.
Birmingham International, the company that owns the club, had to resort to borrowing HK$80m at an interest rate of 12 per cent from a mainland Chinese businessman last month to help repay debts and for use as general working capital.
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