The prosecution of Donald Tsang bought attention to the ties between government officials and businessmen.
Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the former chief executive of Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012, was charged on two counts of misconduct in public office on 5 October. He is the highest official in Hong Kong ever to be arrested.
According to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the first charge on Mr. Tsang is “willfully misconducted himself” by failing to declare the lease agreement of a property owned by the shareholder of a company which was an applicant of a license, the second charge is his failure to disclose his relation with an architect who had been hired to redecorate that Shenzhen apartment during Tang’s engagement in nomination of official honors.
This case added to the recent cases that have shaken public confidence and brought attention to the ties between wealthy businessmen and the Hong Kong’s leaders.
The former government official Rafael Hui was sentenced in jail for his role in a high-profile graft case involving Hong Kong developer Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016.HK) in December 2014.
A series of scandals involving powerful Hong Kong officials have tarnished the city’s reputation and may in turn be harmful to Hong Kong economy.
Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was charged by the city’s graft-busting agency Monday morning with two counts of misconduct in public office.
After the charges were read out to him, he was released on HK$100,000 bail and told he must appear in court on 13 November.
Both charges were related to a three-story flat at East Pacific Garden in Shenzhen, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said.
The first charge alleges that Tsang failed, while chief executive, to inform the Executive Council — during ExCo meetings between Nov. 2, 2010, and Jan. 20, 2012, in which license applications by Wave Media Ltd. (WML), were discussed and approved — about his negotiations with a major shareholder of WML over a lease for the flat.
Tsang also failed to disclose a related payment of RMB$800,000 to a company of that major shareholder of WML in November 2010, the charge alleges. WML was later renamed Digital Broadcasting Corp. Hong Kong Ltd. An architect was hired to decorate the flat.
The second charge alleges that between December 2010 and July 2011, Tsang failed to inform the then permanent secretary for the Chief Executive’s Office, the Development Bureau and the Honours and Non-official Justices of the Peace Selection Committee about his interest in the lease of the flat and the engagement of that architect when he proposed that the architect be considered for nomination under the honors and awards system.
The ICAC said the case arose from complaints about corruption and that the agency’s enquiries revealed the alleged offences.
As he left the court, Tsang told reporters: “For the past three-and-a-half years, I have cooperated fully with the ICAC investigation.
“My conscience is clear. “I have every confidence that the court will exonerate me at the end of its proceedings.”