Ruling on Yang's life policies next week

The former tour guide embroiled in a high-profile court tussle over the control of a rich widow's assets must wait longer to find out if he can dip into two life insurance policies to pay for his legal fees for his ongoing court battles.

The State Courts will sit on Sept 2 on whether to release two insurance policies in Yang Yin's name, which are worth about $98,000 and currently frozen by the High Court.

The court will decide whether to hold a separate session on the fate of the policies, Yang's lawyer Joseph Liow said after a closed-door hearing yesterday. "The question is whether or not the court should hold a disposal inquiry," he added. If the court decides that the inquiry need not be held, the policies will stay frozen.

In April, the High Court allowed Yang to liquidate both life insurance policies to pay for his legal fees.

The policies will help cover his legal bill in a high-profile High Court suit brought against him by Madam Chung Khin Chun, 88, through her niece Hedy Mok. Madam Mok, 61, has accused Yang of manipulating her auntie into handing over assets worth an estimated $40 million.

The policies were among Yang's assets for which Madam Mok obtained a High Court order to freeze last year. The High Court suit is set to be heard in March next year.

Madam Mok is also appealing against the High Court decision to release the insurance policies.

Even though the High Court has released the policies to Yang, he is unable to touch them yet because they were separately seized by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) last year for criminal investigations.

The closed-door hearing at the State Courts yesterday was to hear arguments from the Attorney-General's Chambers, which is representing the CAD, and lawyers representing Yang and Madam Mok on whether the CAD can release the insurance policies while the High Court suit is still pending.

Yang, 41, had met Madam Chung in 2008 while acting as her private tour guide in Beijing.

He moved into her bungalow a year later and claimed the widow treated him as her "grandson".

Yang also faces more than 300 criminal charges, including two criminal breach of trust charges for allegedly misappropriating $1.1 million. He has been remanded since Oct 31 last year.

This article was first published on Aug 25, 2015.
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