Tuesday 26 September 2017

Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang 'convicted of corruption'

Donald Tsang is escorted out of court with his wife Selina after being granted bail following his conviction (AP)
Donald Tsang is escorted out of court with his wife Selina after being granted bail following his conviction (AP)
Donald Tsang and his wife Selina arrive at the magistrates' court in Hong Kong (AP)

A former leader of Hong Kong has been convicted of corruption over a luxury apartment in mainland China, according to reports.

The South China Morning Post and broadcaster RTHK said a nine-member jury found Donald Tsang guilty of one count of misconduct.

Tsang served as the chief executive of the Asian financial centre from 2005 to 2012.

He is the highest-ranking current or former official in the city to be convicted of corruption.

It is one of several recent cases that have shaken public confidence and raised concerns about ties between Hong Kong's leaders and wealthy tycoons.

The reports said jurors found Tsang guilty of one of two counts of misconduct in public office. They could not decide on a third count of accepting an advantage.

The jurors ruled eight to one that the 72-year-old committed misconduct by failing to declare that the Shenzhen penthouse he planned to rent was owned by a businessman whose media company was applying for a digital radio licence, the reports said.

Tsang's defence argued the connection was too distant and did not need to be declared.

The jurors unanimously cleared him of a charge that he nominated for an award the interior designer who renovated the penthouse but did not disclose that connection.

Tsang was granted bail and is expected to return to court on Monday. He faces up to seven years in prison.

In 2014, Rafael Hui - who was chief secretary, or number two official, during the first two years Tsang was in office - was convicted and sentenced to prison in a separate corruption case.

AP

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