Ex-Hong Kong leader charged with misconduct

Hong Kong, Oct 5 (IANS) Hong Kong’s former leader Donald Tsang has been charged with two counts of misconduct during his time in office, the department of justice announced on Monday.

Tsang, 70, who has become the highest-ranking former city official ever to be embroiled in a misconduct trial, issued a statement around noon saying he had a “clear conscience” and “every confidence that the court will exonerate” him after its proceedings, the South China Morning Post reported.

The first charge alleged that between November 2, 2010 and January 20, 2012, Tsang, in the capacity of the chief executive, “willfully misconducted himself by failing to declare or disclose to, or by concealing from” the Executive Council his dealings with a major shareholder of Wave Media Limited, when the council met to discuss, and approved, various licence applications by that company, later renamed as Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Limited.

Tsang did that without reasonable excuse or justification, the Independent Commission Against Corruption alleged.

The second charge alleged that between December 2010 and July 2011, Tsang willfully misconducted himself by failing to disclose to, or by concealing his interests in the lease of a three-storey residential property in East Pacific Garden in Shenzhen and the engagement of an architect responsible for the interior design work of that flat. Tsang was proposing that the architect be referred for consideration for nomination under the city’s honours and awards system.

The case arose from corruption complaints, ICAC said.

However, Tsang was bailed out on a 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($12,903) cash bond.

He was directed to inform the court of any change of residence 24 hours beforehand, not interfere with prosecution witnesses, and inform the ICAC 24 hours before any departure from Hong Kong or on a shorter notice on a case-by-case basis.

According to Hong Kong laws, misconduct in public office carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

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