Disgraced former development minister Mak Chai-kwong had his bail extended by the ICAC yesterday when he reported back to the graft busters after his arrest on suspicion of cheating on government rent allowances in the 1980s.
Also reporting back were assistant highways director Tsang King-man, Mak's partner in a cross-leasing deal, and both men's wives. They all had their bail extended.
Mak and his wife were seen entering the Independent Commission Against Corruption headquarters in North Point by car at 7.30am. They left after 30 minutes. Tsang and his wife turned up later. None of them spoke to the media.
Mak has been in the spotlight after it emerged he claimed a housing allowance for renting a City Garden flat in North Point from his former colleague Tsang.
Tsang, in turn, rented Mak's flat while also claiming the allowance - a practice known as cross-leasing - for more than two years.
The two couples were arrested on July 12 for allegedly violating the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in relation to government housing allowances, just 12 days after Mak took office as Secretary for Development. He resigned on the same day, but Tsang remains as assistant highways director.
Under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, it is an offence for any employee, including a public servant, to use any receipt, account or other documents to deceive or mislead his employer. The maximum penalty is a fine of HK$500,000 and seven years in jail. Both men could lose their pensions if found guilty.
Mak, a civil servant for 37 years before his retirement in 2010, was succeeded by Paul Chan Mo-po, who is facing a scandal over subdivided flats his wife owns.
Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung delegated Mak's prosecution to the director of public prosecutions, Kevin Zervos SC, to avoid any possible perception of bias.