Europe-touring Tsang to miss judgment day

Top News | Jane Cheung 26 Jun 2019

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the only chief executive to have served a prison term, will know this morning whether he can clear his name when the Court of Final Appeal hands down its judgment.

Unlike on previous occasions, Tsang, 74, and his wife, Selina Tsang Pau Siu-mei, will not be in court as they are touring Europe with their family, including younger sister Katherine Tsang King-suen, former chair of Standard Chartered Bank (China).

The outcome of Tsang's ultimate appeal is a joint decision by Court of Appeal Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, permanent judges Roberto Ribeiro, Joseph Fok Shiu-kong and Andrew Cheung Kui-nung and non-permanent judge Anthony Gleeson.

Tsang was in 2017 convicted of misconduct in public office during the license application of Wave Media - renamed Digital Broadcasting Corp Hong Kong - as the chief executive and head of the Executive Council while concealing his rental deal with businessman Bill Wong Cho-bau, a major shareholder of the broadcaster.

He was originally jailed for 20 months for failing to inform the Executive Council about a property deal he had with Wong, whose company was applying for a digital radio license.

But after serving two months, Tsang was granted bail of HK$100,000 to appeal against his conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeal.

He also appealed against the court order that he pay HK$5 million for the prosecution bill.

Despite the Court of Appeal dismissing his appeal against conviction, his prison term was reduced to 12 months and legal bill to HK$1 million.

Tsang returned to jail and in December last year he again appealed against his conviction to the Court of Final Appeal.

He walked free upon completing his sentence in January this year.

Last month, the city's highest court held a one-day hearing when Tsang's lawyer, Queen's Counsel Clare Montgomery, said for Tsang to be found guilty of misconduct, he should have deliberately concealed the deal with the businessman knowing that it was illegal.

She said trial judge Andrew Chan Hing-wai of the Court of First Instance failed to ask jurors to decide whether Tsang purposely hid his conflict of interest and did not ask them to consider whether Tsang was aware of any wrongdoing.

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