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Donald Tsang

Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang back in court on April 25 to appeal against misconduct conviction

The 73-year-old has been out on bail since April this year, after serving about two months of a 20-month jail sentence handed down in February

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 11:37am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 12:18pm

Sentenced to 20 months jail for misconduct but currently out on bail, former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will be back in court next April to appeal against his conviction, according to court records.

An inquiry made via the city’s judiciary website showed that Tsang’s appeal hearing will begin on April 25 in the Court of Appeal and last for two days.

Tsang, 73, was convicted of one count of misconduct in public office in February this year over his failure to declare his interest in a three-storey penthouse in mainland China, as well as his ties to the boss of a local radio station during his term in office.

Donald Tsang guilty of misconduct in office, making him first Hong Kong leader convicted in criminal trial

“Never in my judicial career have I seen a man fallen from so high,” High Court judge Mr Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai said at Tsang’s sentencing on February 22.

After a high-profile six-week trial, the jury found Tsang had failed to disclose a conflict of interest and was guilty of misconduct in public office, making him the first-ever leader in the city to be tainted by a criminal conviction.

A timeline of former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang’s legal journey

As the leader of the Hong Kong government and head of its policy advisory body, the Executive Council, Tsang approved three applications from radio broadcaster Wave Media between 2010 and 2012, including a digital audio broadcast licence.

However, he deliberately concealed the fact that he was, during that time, in negotiations with a company chaired by Wave Media shareholder and property tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau over a three-storey luxury Shenzhen penthouse. Tsang intended to live in the house, which Wong owns, temporarily after his retirement.

In the same trial, the nine-person jury cleared him of a separate count of misconduct in public office, but failed to reach a verdict on a bribery charge, where prosecutors accused Tsang of accepting an advantage as the chief executive. He had allegedly accepted free renovation of the Shenzhen penthouse at East Pacific Garden, as Wong’s company had picked up the tab of HK$3.8 million.

Former leader Donald Tsang granted bail by Hong Kong court

Tsang spent two months in prison until a Hong Kong court approved his bail application on April 24. He was back in the dock from September to November for a retrial on the bribery charge but the new jury also failed to reach a verdict. Prosecutors will no longer pursue that charge.