Donald Tsang

As misconduct trial wraps up, what next for former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang?

Here are the key points regarding the charges faced by the ex-chief executive

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 10:56am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 February, 2017, 10:56am


Donald Tsang, 72, was a civil servant for 40 years before becoming the second chief executive of Hong Kong between 2005 and 2012. The post of chief executive is the city’s highest political office.

What charges?

Tsang faces three charges: two of misconduct in public office and one of a chief executive accepting an advantage.

Charge No 1: accepting an advantage

The prosecution alleges that Tsang received free renovation work worth HK$3.35 million on a Shenzhen apartment he planned to live in during his retirement in exchange for him approving three applications from radio station Wave Media.

The defence says that the renovations were necessary because the penthouse was uninhabitable, and that Tsang did not pay for them because he was going to live in the house only temporarily.

Charge No 2: misconduct in public office

The prosecution says Tsang committed misconduct when he took part in discussion of the Wave Media applications but failed to declare his conflict of interest. They say he should have told the Executive Council that he was negotiating over a Shenzhen property with a Wave Media shareholder Bill Wong Cho-bau.

The defence says Tsang did not need to declare the connection because it was too distant.

Charge No 3: misconduct in public office

Tsang is accused of again committing misconduct by failing to declare his connection to interior designer Barrie Ho Chow-lai when nominating him for an award. Ho was the designer behind the HK$3.5 million renovation on the Shenzhen apartment Tsang planned to rent.

The defence says the former chief executive did not need to declare the connection, and if he had, it might have put extra pressure on others to approve the nomination.

What happens now?

The nine-member jury will consider their verdict, and could find Tsang guilty of all, some or none of the charges. If he is found guilty on any of the charges, Tsang faces a possible seven-year jail term and a fine when he is sentenced. If he is found not guilty on all of the charges, Tsang will walk free.