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Donald Tsang

Former leader Donald Tsang granted bail by Hong Kong court

Former chief executive’s health ‘fluctuating’, wife reveals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 April, 2017, 9:55am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 April, 2017, 6:56pm

Former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was given a break from prison life on Monday, after a Hong Kong court granted his bail application.

Tsang had been convicted and jailed for 20 months over a misconduct charge involving a penthouse in mainland China, but will appeal against the conviction and sentence. After Monday’s decision, he will be on bail until then.

His wife Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei and son Thomas Tsang Hing-shun embraced after hearing the ruling, while his sister Katherine Tsang King-suen burst into tears.

Nine bodyguards, charged with protecting former and current chief executives, immediately appeared in the vicinity of the court to prepare for Tsang’s release.

Tsang wore a full navy suit with his trademark bow tie. His hair had greyed since earlier public appearances.

Before the hearing, his wife had said: “Yam-kuen’s health has been fluctuating lately, but [he] will definitely recover.”

She thanked the public, his friends, family and former colleagues for their support over the past two months. Tsang Yam-pui, Tsang’s brother and a former police commissioner, also attended court.

On Monday, Tsang was transferred to the court building in Admiralty from Queen Mary Hospital, where he had been staying. He had been moved there from Stanley Prison after complaining of breathing problems.

Before Mr Justice Wally Yeung Chun-kuen took his seat, Tsang spoke to his wife through a glass divider, under which they touched each other’s hands through a little gap.

WATCH: Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang sentenced to 20 months in prison for misconduct

During the hearing, Tsang asked the guards near him for an inhaler. At one point, his sister gave him water.

In February, the 72 year old was convicted of one count of misconduct in public office as the city’s chief executive between 2010 and 2012.

He was found to have deliberately concealed his negotiations over a three-storey penthouse in Shenzhen with businessman Bill Wong Cho-bau when he approved various applications, including one for a digital audio broadcasting licence for radio station Wave Media, of which Wong was a shareholder.

Other approved applications by the broadcaster included the surrender of its analogue licence, as well as the appointment of executive councillor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung as its chairman.