Nina Wang 'forged will' case begins in Hong Kong

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The BBC's Juliana Liu says the trial is expected to last for months

The criminal case against Tony Chan, the fengshui master accused of forging the will of Nina Wang, once Asia's richest woman, has begun in Hong Kong.

Mr Chan fought for years to inherit the property tycoon's multi-billion dollar fortune after she died of cancer in 2007.

But a court dismissed his claims to the inheritance last year.

The preliminary inquiry revives one of the city's most colourful and high-profile legal sagas.

The case of the eccentric billionaire widow and her alleged younger lover created a media frenzy, says the BBC's Julianna Liu in Hong Kong.

Mr Chan had tried to persuade judges that Ms Wang had left her entire fortune to him.

But a court ruled in favour of a charity run by Ms Wang's siblings, Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd, whose claim to her estate rests on a will from 2002.

The Hong Kong government has accused Mr Chan of forging the will he used to claim Ms Wang's estate.

He wants to stop the trial, saying the document was destroyed by forensic tests.

Such is the importance and complexity of the case that the government has brought in a specialist barrister from London to lead the prosecution, says our correspondent.

Ms Wang, who was 69 when she passed way, was known for her pig-tails, short skirts and colourful dress sense.

She was the widow of Hong Kong industrialist Teddy Wang, who disappeared in 1990 after being kidnapped.