CY Leung UGL payment saga

Anti-graft watchdog looking into Hong Kong leader CY Leung’s intervention in Legco probe

File opened about a month after pan-democrat lawmakers made complaints to Independent Commission Against Corruption

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 June, 2017, 9:43am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 June, 2017, 11:04pm

Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog has opened a file on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s behind-the-scenes intervention into a legislative probe into his past business dealings, the Post has learned.

That revelation comes about a month after opposition politicians filed complaints with the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) following Leung’s admission that he sought to influence a probe into the HK$50 million he got from Australian engineering firm UGL.

Earlier in May, a document from pro-establishment lawmaker Holden Chow Ho-ding that had been submitted to a Legislative Council select committee set up to investigate the case was found to contain changes that came from the chief executive himself.

Leung confirmed that he had “made suggestions about the scope” of the investigation to Chow, but denied any wrongdoing.

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Chow also insisted he did nothing wrong by allowing Leung to get involved behind the scenes. But he quit the panel in the hope of calming the political storm as pan-democrat legislators clamoured for his resignation.

It was revealed in 2014 that Leung had made a non-compete, non-poach deal with UGL, which in 2011 purchased DTZ, an insolvent property firm of which he was a director.

As part of the agreement, Leung received HK$50 million from UGL after his election as chief executive in 2012, but did not declare it to his cabinet.

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Pan-democrat lawmakers Claudia Mo Man-ching, Hui Chi-fung and Roy Kwong Chun-yu had lodged complaints with the ICAC on Leung’s engagement with Chow. All three declined to comment on the ICAC’s decision.

When contacted, an ICAC spokesman said: “According to its policy, the ICAC, in general, will not comment on individual incidents. It is the ICAC’s statutory duty to follow up on all pursuable corruption complaints in accordance with the law and established procedures upon receipt of them.”

Last week, a motion to begin impeachment proceedings against Leung, who will step down on June 30, over this incident was defeated by lawmakers.

Legco is also preparing to launch an inquiry into Chow, who could be disqualified if two-thirds of lawmakers pass a motion to censure him after the investigation is completed.

Additional reporting by Phila Siu