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Donald Tsang

Donald Tsang to serve jail term in same prison as his former chief secretary Rafael Hui

Former Hong Kong chief executive will spend his 20-month sentence in the maximum-security Stanley Prison, source confirms

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 7:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 February, 2017, 9:32am

Starting Friday, jailed former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will be spending his 20 months behind bars in the maximum-security Stanley Prison, where his former right-hand man in government is also serving time, the Post has learned.

Tsang this week became the highest ranking official to be imprisoned in the city’s history, after being found guilty of misconduct in office. He is expected to be transferred to Stanley from the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre as soon as Friday morning, a source familiar with the matter said.

Donald Tsang’s downfall leaves Hong Kong law in the dock

Stanley Prison, the city’s largest jail, situated in the southern corner of Hong Kong Island, has also housed Rafael Hui Si-yan, chief secretary under Tsang’s administration, since he was given a 7½-year sentence in 2014 for bribery and misconduct.

But the two old friends are unlikely to have a face-to-face reunion due to arrangements in place to protect them, a separate source said.

It is understood that the decision to send Tsang to Stanley was reached in a meeting of the Correctional Services Department on Thursday.

Watch: Selina Tsang speaks after Donald Tsang’s sentencing

Hong Kong’s crisis of confidence in the rule of law and law enforcement

Tsang, 72, was found guilty last week of deliberately concealing his negotiations with businessman Bill Wong Cho-bau over a Shenzhen penthouse he planned to live in after retirement. That was when his administration was approving applications by radio station Wave Media, of which Wong was a shareholder, between 2010 and 2012.

The presiding High Court judge remarked during sentencing: “Never in my judicial career have I seen a man fallen from so high.”

Although both Tsang and Hui could just be doors away from each other in prison, they are unlikely to meet due to the protection already in place for Hui, who lives in his own cell and is isolated even during his daily one hour of allocated exercise time.

“Well-known people and former police officers are usually separated from the rest of the inmates to avoid disruption to prison order,” the source said.

Tsang is expected to get the same kind of protection, whether he requests it or not.

“Prisoners may take advantage of him or even beat him up,” the source said.

On Thursday, Tsang’s wife Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei used one of her two allocated 30-minute visits per month to see her husband at Lai Chi Kok. She was accompanied by Tsang’s siblings. None of them commented when they left after staying for about an hour.

Tsang spent his first night behind bars on Wednesday. Although he was remanded in custody on Monday, he spent the first two nights in a hospital custodial ward after complaining of a severe cough.

Meanwhile, retired civil servant Kwok Cheuk-kin mounted a legal challenge on Thursday against the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Department of Justice over prosecutors’ failure to bring to trial Bill Wong and Bank of East Asia chief David Li Kwok-po, whose names were repeatedly mentioned at Tsang’s trial.