Former HK leader Donald Tsang guilty of misconduct in office
Friday, February 17, 2017
Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was found guilty today of misconduct in public office in connection with the leasing of a penthouse in Shenzhen.
The jury in his trial at the High Court decided Tsang was not guilty of a second misconduct charge and they could not reach a decision on a corruption allegation.
Tsang, 72, stood in the dock behind a glass screen as the jury announced its verdicts – his hands visibly shaking. He looked up and down constantly and then sat down and swallowed a pill.
His wife accompanied him every day to court during the trial. And since the jury retired on Thursday, his siblings and two sons were also by his side as they waited for news.
Tsang was accused of accepting an advantage from businessman Bill Wong, in the form of a free multi-million dollar renovation of a luxury Shenzhen flat, in exchange for granting a digital radio licence to a company partly owned by Wong in 2011.
Despite two days of deliberations, the nine jurors failed to reach a majority verdict of at least seven-to-two on that corruption charge.
They did, however, convict him of a misconduct charge by an eight-to-one majority for failing to disclose the property deal when the Executive Council was discussing the digital radio application.
The jury unanimously acquitted Tsang of committing another misconduct charge, which alleged he failed to disclose his relationship with an interior designer working on the penthouse when he nominated the designer for a prestigious government award.
The court hearing was due to resume on Monday afternoon to hear mitigation from Tsang’s defence team.
The prosecution was also expected on Monday to make suggestions as to how to proceed with the charge the jury failed to reach a verdict on.
Tsang remains on bail. He did not speak to reporters when he left the court building.
He is now the most senior former official in Hong Kong to be convicted in a criminal trial. Rafael Hui, who served as Chief Secretary in Tsang's administration, was jailed for more than seven years in 2014 for taking almost HK$20 million in bribes.-RTHK