China

Donald Tsang: Hong Kong ex-leader guilty of misconduct

Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang (L) and his wife Selina (R) leave the High Court as the jury adjourns to deliberate a verdict in his high-profile corruption trial in Hong Kong on February 16, 2017. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Tsang, pictured here with his wife, previously said that his conscience was clear

Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang has been found guilty of misconduct in office, in a case related to a luxury flat in China.

Mr Tsang, who led Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012, had faced three charges of misconduct and bribery.

He was cleared of a second count of misconduct and the jury failed to reach a verdict on a third charge of accepting an advantage.

Mr Tsang is the most senior Hong Kong official to face a corruption trial.

The case has worried a territory that prides itself on its relatively clean reputation.

Designer flat

The charges, which each carried a maximum of seven years in prison, related to events which took place near the end of his term between 2010 and 2012.

Prosecutors accused Mr Tsang of engaging in a number of conflicts of interest without declaring them, including renting a luxury flat in mainland China from the shareholder of a broadcast company, Wave Media, whose license applications he approved.

They alleged the flat was redecorated for free for him and that he later nominated the interior designer for an honour.

The jury, which deliberated for two days, found him guilty of misconduct over his failure to disclose the lease of the flat, but dismissed the charge related to the designer.

It did not reach a verdict on whether he accepted a bribe in the form of the refurbishment. Sentencing will take place on Monday, AFP reported.

Mr Tsang, 72, has previously insisted his conscience is clear.

A career civil servant, he rose through the ranks to become Hong Kong's second chief executive, following Tung Chee-hwa.

His deputy, former Chief Secretary Rafael Hui, was jailed for accepting bribes from a property tycoon in 2014.

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