August 31st, 2011
02:20 AM GMT
Hong Kong (CNN) – After being accused of laundering $92 million, Carson Yeung is now free to leave the country after a Hong Kong court reversed a June decision barring the millionaire from travel.
Against prosecutor protestations, the judge doubled Yeung’s initial bail amount from $500,000 to $1 million. That bail was promptly met and Yeung is now free to fly to London on September 15. His current schedule has him in Britain for four days.
The reason Yeung is going? The 51-year old former hairdresser is owner and majority shareholder of British football team Birmingham City. His defense lawyer, Clive Grossman, argued his client needs to take care of his business interests and can only best do that through in-person meetings.
The prosecution argued Yeung could just as easily use technology to teleconference with the new club manager, the board and team players. They added the club has an acting chairman who can perform the same duties as Yeung.
Yeung’s lawyer reasoned to the court, "He is a high-profile person, a well-known personality in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. There is not the slightest chance of (him) absconding."
And the court agreed. Yeung will soon be headed for the departure gate.
Attorneys for Yeung – who made his fortune with Chinese real estate – say the tycoon plans to enter a not guilty plea on the laundering charges. The trial is expected to start early next year.
The next question that comes to mind: ‘Will Carson come back?’ If he doesn’t, then this brewing international monetary scandal could get just a bit more flavorful.
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