Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang taken to hospital ahead of release from prison
- Tsang, 74, was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam on Friday night
- Cardinal Joseph Zen visited Tsang, a devout Catholic, on Saturday morning and said he was in good spirits
Jailed former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was taken to hospital ahead of release from prison on Tuesday.
A source confirmed Tsang, 74, was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam on Friday night. But it was unclear what prompted his admission, and how long he would stay there.
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun visited Tsang, a devout Catholic, on Saturday morning in the custodial ward of the hospital. He described the former chief executive as being in good spirits.
Tsang, the city’s leader from 2005 to 2012, was jailed for misconduct in public office. He fell from grace in February 2017 when he was found guilty over an undeclared rental deal with a tycoon.
He was expected to regain his freedom on Tuesday after serving a 12-month term in maximum security Stanley Prison. Personal protection, transport services and other welfare perks he enjoyed before imprisonment would also resume.
Tsang, whose sentence was reduced from 20 months to 12 months in his failed appeal against his conviction, would be released early after holidays and his good behaviour were taken into account by the Correctional Services Department (CSD). He had been sent to hospital on a number of occasions after his conviction.
Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said that on the day of release, an inmate would generally be asked to sign relevant documents and collect personal property kept by the prison. Staff would then escort the inmate to the prison exit.
But there could be special arrangements if a prisoner was in hospital on release day, Luk said.
“The prisoner could make a request, or the CSD also could have special arrangements,” Luk said.
He said a prisoner could be transferred from a custodial ward to a general ward, or to a different hospital, on the day of release.
The inmate could authorise someone else to collect their personal property from the prison.
The CSD would not comment on individual cases to protect an inmate’s privacy, a spokesman said.
He added that the medical officer in the hospital’s custodial ward would decide the date and time of hospital discharge according to the patient’s condition.