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Donald Tsang

Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang has misconduct case adjourned

Tight security at Eastern Court as ex-chief executive attends hearing accompanied by wife

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 November, 2015, 4:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 September, 2016, 5:36pm

The case against former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, Hong Kong’s highest-ranking official ever to be prosecuted, has been further adjourned for five weeks following a committal hearing today.

Arriving at about 2pm, Tsang turned up at Eastern Court in Sai Wan Ho in a seven-seater vehicle amid flashes from cameras set up by dozens of journalists at the entrance on a rainy day. He was accompanied by his wife, Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei.

The police presence was noticeable, with who appeared to be bodyguards from elite VIP protection unit G4 accompanying Tsang as he entered the court.

READ MORE: Hong Kong leader CY Leung tight-lipped on moves to tighten anti-bribery laws amid prosecution of predecessor Donald Tsang

They barred journalists from entering the lift with Tsang and prevented the public from entering the courtroom until Tsang had entered.

“We would make arrangements,” a police officer told the crowd of journalists waiting outside the courtroom door.

Tsang, 70, faces two counts of misconduct in public office related to the rental of a three-storey penthouse in Shenzhen.

Prosecutor Alain Sham appeared for the prosecution, while Tsang was represented by Derek Chan.

Magistrate Jason Wan Siu-ming adjourned the case to December 18 to be heard at the same court after the brief court proceeding. The reason for the adjournment cannot be reported due to legal reasons.

Tsang held hands with his wife and entered an exclusive lift as he left the courtroom. He did not speak to the media before leaving.

Despite no protesters turning up at court today, police deployed crowd control measures and set up barricades to fend off journalists in a restricted zone, who tried to take pictures. They were barred from getting too close to the entrance of the court building.

It is alleged that between November 2, 2010 and January 20, 2012, Tsang, without reasonable excuse, failed to tell the Executive Council that he was in talks with Bill Wong Chor-bau, a major shareholder of Wave Media, to lease the penthouse at East Pacific Garden, according to the first charge.

He allegedly approved applications by Wong’s company - later renamed DBC - for a digital broadcasting licence, the surrender of its AM radio licence, and the appointment of Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung as DBC director and board chairman.

Tsang also failed to disclose a sum of 800,000 yuan (HK$972,000) his wife paid to another company where Wong was a shareholder in November 2010, the court heard earlier.

The second charge accuses Tsang of suggesting that interior designer Barrie Ho Chow-lai be nominated under the city’s honours and awards system between December 2010 and July 2011.

Tsang, however, allegedly failed to tell the permanent secretary for the chief executive’s office, the Development Bureau and the Honours and Non-official Justices of the Peace Selection Committee that Ho was tasked with the flat’s design, the court heard earlier.