CY Leung UGL payment saga

Hong Kong justice department could have worded CY decision better

  • When it comes to former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, the pan-democrats of this town are unlikely to take no for an answer
PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 January, 2019, 8:25am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 January, 2019, 8:25am

I refer to the article by Grenville Cross, “Why Cheng should explain decision in C.Y. Leung case” (January 2). When it comes to one of Beijing’s proteges like former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying, whom the pan-democrats of this town are always after, I’m not sure they will take no (that is: not guilty) for an answer.

Leung’s agreement with UGL was a golden handshake, for the princely sum of about HK$50 million, made months before his election to the Chief Executive’s Office, with Leung agreeing to sever ties with UGL and undertaking not to poach its staff.

It was necessary for the money to be paid only after he took up the chief executive’s office, for, if he hadn’t succeeded in entering that office, he would have stayed with UGL and the money would not need to be paid.

Therefore, Leung being paid the money after he took up office was not wrongdoing (“Critics of the CY Leung case should stick to the facts”, January 2). That is what Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah would have explained if she had chosen to do so earlier, which the pan-democrats would still have rejected anyway.

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Unfortunately, the Department of Justice pre-empted this course of action, putting its foot in its mouth by saying: “there was insufficient evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction”, according to the December 12 statement from the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Anyone could interpret that to mean there was indeed wrongdoing on Leung’s part but the evidence was insufficient to press charges.

Peter Lok, Heng Fa Chuen