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Court Rules Against Claimants for Share in Elias Hardoon Estate; Case is Dismissed

The British Consular Court of the First Instance today ruled against the contestants for a share in the estate of the late Elias Hardoon, Jewish multi-millionaire, and dismissed the case.

The validity of the will, which left the entire estate, estimated at $100,000,000 to his Chinese widow, was recognized by the court.

The relatives of Hardoon, who sought to have the will set aside on the ground that the marriage of Hardoon to his Chinese wife was not legal, inasmuch as it was not in accordance with Jewish orthodox law, were required to pay the costs of the suit.

The request made by counsel for the claimants for a stay in execution of the verdict was also refused by the court. Counsel for the relatives thereupon lodged an immediate appeal against the verdict. If this appeal is granted, the case will probably come up before the Privy Council in London.

A cabled request was sent to the government of Iraq to come to the defense of the claimants, who are all natives of Iraq. The Iraq government has been supporting their case on the ground that the deceased, who was a native of Baghdad, never renounced his Iraquian citizenship and has urged that the case be tried under the law of Iraq.

Silas Hardoon died on June 18, 1931, at the age of 84. Numerous relatives entered suit for a share in the estate and the litigation, with numerous ramifications, has been in progress for a year.

On June 7 the hearing opened before the British Consular Court and on June 20, the hearing was adjourned while the court reserved decision.

Outstanding legal authorities had been engaged by the plaintiffs and at one stage it was announced that Norman Bentwich, former Attorney General for Palestine, would proceed to Shanghai to act as counsel.

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