Donald Tsang

A timeline of former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang’s legal journey

From his first talks over a flat in Shenzhen, to his second trial over the deal seven years later

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 November, 2017, 6:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 November, 2017, 6:59pm

1967 Donald Tsang Yam-kuen starts his career as a civil servant

2005 Tsang becomes Hong Kong chief executive, and is appointed again to the position in 2007

February 2010 Tsang starts negotiating with Bill Wong Cho-bau, a major shareholder of Wave Media, over a penthouse flat in Shenzhen, where he plans to retire

Invitation goes out for digital audio broadcasting licence applications, which will eventually attract Wave Media, Phoenix U Radio, and Metro Broadcasting Corporation

July 16, 2010 Tsang’s wife Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei deposits HK$350,000 in cash into her Bank of East Asia account, only 35 minutes after Wave Media shareholder David Li Kwok-po withdrew HK$350,000 in cash from the same branch. The prosecution said Li gave the money to Tsang to help pay for the Shenzhen penthouse

November 5, 2010 Executive Council approves in principle Wave Media’s digital broadcasting licence, and orders its application to surrender its analogue licence be considered

November 17, 2010 A payment of 800,000 yuan (HK$943,000) is made from Tsang’s wife’s account to East Pacific Holdings, a company owned by Wong. The prosecution suggested the payment could have been Tsang buying the property for less than the market rate, while the defence said it was a rent payment

November 30, 2010 Wave Media changes its name to Digital Broadcasting Corporation (DBC)

February 18, 2011 Interior designer Barrie Ho Chow-lai meets Mrs Tsang at Government House, the first of 14 meetings

February 22, 2011 Ho signs a contact, agreeing to refurbish the Shenzhen property, after being introduced to the job by Wave Media shareholder Albert Cheng King-hon

January 18, 2012 Ho and Mrs Tsang visit the Shenzhen property with a feng shui master, their 14th and final meeting

January 21, 2012 The Executive Council approves a decision in favour of DBC, allowing former Exco member Arthur Li Kwok-cheung to exercise control over the company

February 20, 2012 Media reports reveal Tsang attended a banquet in Macau, kicking off a flurry of reporting into his alleged collusion with businessmen

In pictures: the rise and fall of Donald Tsang

February 21, 2012 The tenancy agreement for the Shenzhen property is signed. The receipt for the 800,000 yuan also had this date. The prosecutors said in court they were created in panic

February 26, 2012 Tsang writes an article on the Sunday Morning Post titled “It’s time to rewrite the rule book” and goes on radio programme Beautiful Sunday. He pledges to set up an independent committee to review rules governing officials. Prosecutors later said he was trying to shift the focus away from him

February 29, 2012 The Independent Commission Against Corruption launches an investigation into Tsang’s actions

June 30, 2012 Tsang finishes his term as chief executive

October 5, 2015 Tsang is charged with two counts of misconduct in public office, becoming the most senior public official in Hong Kong to be arrested

August 8, 2016 DBC announces it will give up its digital broadcasting licence and close down

September 9, 2016 DBC goes off air

January 3, 2017 Tsang’s trial on two charges of misconduct in office and one of accepting a bribe begins

February 17, 2017 Tsang is found guilty of one count of misconduct in public office, but acquitted of the other. The bribery charge is left undecided by the jury. He would later appeal the one guilty conviction.

February 20, 2017 Tsang gets his first taste of prison at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre after the presiding judge revokes his bail

February 22, 2017 “Never in my judicial career have I seen a man fallen from so high,” presiding High Court judge Mr Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai says, sentencing Tsang to 20 months in jail. A day before that, Tsang was sent to the hospital after health complaints.

February 24, 2017 Tsang is transferred to the maximum-security Stanley Prison, where he serves jail with his former right-hand man Rafael Hui Si-yan, who also fell from grace after being found guilty of bribery and misconduct charges

April 13, 2017 Tsang is sent to hospital again with breathing problems

April 24, 2017 Tsang, after spending more than a month in jail, is granted bail pending his retrial on the undecided charge and his appeal on the conviction for misconduct

September 26, 2017 The second trial, involving the charge that the previous jury could not decide on, starts

November 3, 2017 Tsang’s fate is again uncertain after the jury is unable to reach a verdict, and dismissed by the judge