China

Ex-HK leader Donald Tsang appears in court for misconduct

Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang (centre) is escorted by two policemen as he walks into the Eastern Law Court in Hong Kong Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Tsang is nicknamed "Bow Tie'' for his neckwear preference

Hong Kong's former leader Donald Tsang has appeared in court, charged with misconduct in public office.

The allegations, which surfaced after he ended his term in 2012, relate to a bargain rental deal for a luxury flat and disclosure of personal interests.

He has since been under investigation by Hong Kong's anti-corruption body.

Mr Tsang was released on bail with a 100,000 Hong Kong dollar bond ($13,000; £8,500), after a short court appearance on Monday.

The BBC's Juliana Liu in Hong Kong says he looked tense during the proceedings. He is due to reappear in court on 13 November.

Mr Tsang is the highest-ranking official to face a corruption trial in Hong Kong, but in a statement released to the media he said: "I have every confidence that the court will exonerate me after its proceedings."

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Media captionDonald Tsang outside court: "My conscience is clear"

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has charged Mr Tsang with two counts of misconduct in public office. If convicted, Mr Tsang could be jailed.

One of the charges is for failing to disclose his plans to lease a luxury flat in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen which was owned by an investor in a broadcaster seeking a license from the Hong Kong government, ICAC said.

During his time as leader, Mr Tsang, 70, admitting to accepting gifts from tycoons in the form of trips on luxury yachts and private jets.

A financial secretary when the city-state was ruled by the UK, Mr Tsang became Hong Kong's second post-colonial leader in 2005.

His is the latest in a string of corruption revelations that have raised concerns about the relationship between government officials and business leaders.

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