Tsang lied about date he signed penthouse deal, appeal court told

Local | Jane Cheung 27 Apr 2018

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen intentionally hid his Shenzhen apartment deal from the public, as his speech on a radio program differed from evidence presented in the courtroom, the prosecution told the Court of Appeal.

The court completed a two-day hearing of the appeal by Hong Kong's former chief executive yesterday, and will hand down decision at a later date.

For the government, David Perry, Queen's Counsel, yesterday took issue with issues raised by the defense before Court of Appeal vice presidents Wally Yeung Chun-kuen and Andres Macrae, and appeal judge Derek Pang Wa-cheong.

He hit back on points raised by Tsang's lawyer, Clare Montgomery, QC, declaring that trial judge Andrew Chan Wing-wai did not fail in guiding the jury and had actually done so in favor of Tsang.

Tsang, 73, was convicted last February on one count of misconduct in public office during the license application by Wave Media - renamed Digital Broadcasting Corp - in his capacity as the chief executive and head of the Executive Council, while concealing his rental deal involving a penthouse in Shenzhen with Bill Wong Chau-bau, a major shareholder of the broadcaster.

Tsang was jailed for 20 months, but released on bail of HK$100,000 to appeal, after serving about two months.

He is appealing the conviction, the sentence and the HK$4.6 million legal costs imposed for his previous trials.

Perry pointed out that Tsang, after news of his Shenzhen lease deal with Wong emerged, said on radio he signed the rental contract in February 2012, but evidence proved he actually entered into an agreement in 2010, meaning he failed to tell the truth.

Perry said Chan's jury guidance included telling them Tsang should be acquitted if they accepted his explanation that he did not conceal his relationship with Wong intentionally, including his radio elaboration.

Montgomery has argued that the chief executive need not declare his rental interests to the Executive Council. However, Perry said he was surprised she used this point as a defense, since Tsang had said on another radio program that as the chief executive, not only should he be innocent, but should be seen as "whiter than white."

Perry said Tsang committed an obvious and serious crime, as his actions had an impact on the people of Hong Kong's trust in the chief executive.

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