Thomas Kwok, co-chairman of Hong Kong developer Sun Hung Kai Properties, pictured arriving for a court hearing last month. Pic: AP.

HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong prosecutor says billionaire brothers accused of bribing a top official in the Chinese financial center funneled millions to him through middlemen to gain an edge for their property business.

Prosecutor David Perry said Thursday that Thomas and Raymond Kwok routed secret payments to Rafael Hui from 2005 to 2007, during his tenure as Hong Kong’s chief secretary.

Perry said in his opening statement for the high profile corruption case that payments were disguised by first sending them to two other people also on trial.

The Kwok brothers, their alleged middlemen and Hui all deny the corruption charges.

Hong Kong’s biggest graft case in decades has shocked the former British colony, where rule of law and clean governance have traditionally been points of pride.

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