Prosecutor says Donald Tsang signed penthouse lease as smokescreen

Local | 12 Jan 2017 8:42 pm

Prosecutors at the corruption trial of the former chief executive, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, say he and his wife signed a hasty rental agreement over a penthouse in Shenzhen in 2012 "out of panic.''

Queen's Counsel David Perry told the court the lease was signed in such a rush that the parties mistakenly wrote 8 million yuan in figures, and the correct amount of 800,000 in words. 

He noted that the contract was signed when the press was widely reporting about Donald Tsang's conduct. The counsel described the lease agreement as a "smokescreen" to confuse the public.

Perry also said Selina Tsang transferred the 800,000 yuan in 2010 to businessman Bill Wong's company, which owned the penthouse and a media company that was applying for a radio license. 

The head prosecutor also noted that in July 2010, Selina Tsang also put HK$350,000 into a joint account she and her husband had at the Bank of East Asia less than an hour after the bank's chairman, David Li Kwok-po – who is also a director at the media company – withdrew the same amount through a cash cheque from his own account.

Perry said while the defense may later suggest that this transaction has nothing to do with the case, "common sense" and logic can tell the jury that they are connected. He earlier said Li contributed to the HK$800,000 rental that Tsangs paid to Wong's company.

Donald Tsang is accused of accepting as an advantage the refurbishment of a penthouse in Shenzhen that he had rented. It belonged to a firm partly owned by Wong. The former CE has also denied allegations of not declaring that an interior designer was working on the penthouse, when he recommended him to receive a government medal of honor. 

Tsang has denied all allegations. -RTHK

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