Ex-civil servant challenges decision not to pursue two key figures in trial of former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang
Judicial review seeks action against businessman and Bank of East Asia boss
A retired civil servant known for his track record of mounting legal challenges against the government is taking aim at Hong Kong’s graft-buster and justice department a day after a court sent former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to jail.
In a judicial review application filed on Thursday, Kwok Cheuk-kin questioned the decision to let off Bill Wong Cho-bau and David Li Kwok-po, two key individuals whose names were repeatedly mentioned at Tsang’s trial.
A nine-member jury last week found that the man who headed Hong Kong’s government from 2005 to 2012 had concealed his negotiations with Wong, a businessman, over a Shenzhen penthouse he planned to retire to, while his cabinet was approving applications by radio station Wave Media, of which Wong was a shareholder from 2010 to 2012.
During Tsang’s trial, the prosecutor cited the “terrible coincidence” that Bank of East Asia chairman David Li had withdrawn HK$350,000 in cash from his BEA account on July 16, 2010, and Tsang’s wife, Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei, deposited the same amount of cash into the couple’s joint account at the same branch just 35 minutes later.
Kwok asked the High Court to order that the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Department of Justice take action against Wong and Li, citing the equality before the law requirement stated in the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.
The ICAC said it ran into hurdles when questioning BEA staff and did not interview Li because it did not expect him to cooperate.
Kwok, a Cheung Chau resident, accused the commission and the department of maladministration as they failed to do justice to all relevant parties.
He named justice secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung and ICAC chief Simon Peh Yun-lu the respondents in his review application.
Tsang, who is expected to appeal against his conviction and 20-month prison term, is likely to face a retrial in September over a bribery charge on which the jury failed to reach a verdict.