Hong Kong's billionaire Kwok brothers plead not guilty in graft case, setting stage for trial

Two billionaire property tycoon brothers at the center of a Hong Kong graft probe have pleaded not guilty to corruption charges.

The pleas entered by Thomas and Raymond Kwok all but ensure their case will head to a high-profile trial in the city's High Court.

The Kwoks were arrested by anti-corruption police and charged last year along with a former senior government official and two others. The brothers are joint chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of the city's biggest developers.

The corruption scandal was a shock to the southern Chinese financial center, where residents have traditionally revered the city's billionaire class. But that has given way to public anger in recent years amid widening inequality and skyrocketing housing costs.