Summary Cheung Tze-keung, a.ka. Big Spender, a 44 year old Hong Kong crime boss, was sentenced to death after being found guilty of arms smuggling and kidnapping two of Hong Kong's wealthiest tycoons, Victor Li, the eldest son of Li Ka-shing, and billionaire property developer Walter Kwok. Thirty five members of his gang were also convicted. Three were sentenced to death, two received suspended death sentences, and the other 29 were jailed for life.
The verdict is controversial because it brings up issues of China encroaching on the judicial authority of Hong Kong. China promised Hong Kong autonomy in all but defense and foreign affairs. According to the Joint Declaration and Hong Kong's own Basic Law, China's criminal law does not apply to Hong Kong. While Cheung committed most of his crimes, including both kidnappings, in Hong Kong, he was arrested across the border in Gaungdong Province, and tried in the provincial capital of Gaungzhou. Cheung's lawer pushed to move the case to Hong Kong, where Cheung's crimes would have carried a less severe punishment.
?/?/91- Cheung is convicted of the robbery of a Guardforce security company van at Kai Tak airport. Cheung was sentenced to 18 years in jail, but is released on a technicality in 1995.
5/23/96- Cheung kidnaps Victor Li Tzar-Kuoi, son of Li Ka-shing, one of Hong Kong's wealthiest men.
9/29/96- Cheung kidnaps Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, chairman of the Sun Hung Kai Properties company.
11/1998- Cheung sentenced to death
12/5/98- Cheung executed
Cheung Tze-keung, Big Spender, Victor Li, Walter Kwok, Joint Declaration, Hong Kong, China