Hong Kong will finally know - in less than three months - whether its former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is to face charges or not, under a time frame unveiled by the top prosecutor after three years of graft investigations. Director of Public Prosecutions Keith Yeung Kar-hung also dismissed worries that the former leader would flee the city and escape legal liabilities - a scenario he described as "quite unlikely" - given the Department of Justice had yet to decide on whether to lay charges after all this while. Tsang is accused of accepting favours from tycoons while in office from 2005 to 2012. The allegations surfaced as his term was ending, but prosecutors have not confirmed their next move. Yeung's words yesterday raised hopes that the city would soon see some concrete progress. "We have been considering [various matters] towards the conclusion," he said. "I am optimistic that the case and a final conclusion … will be reached within the very near future." Asked if he meant a decision would be announced in three months, the DPP said it could happen earlier than that. In March, Hongkongers had a hint of the case wrapping up at long last, when Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said the investigation "has entered its final stage", with technical issues about laws still to be sorted out. If prosecuted, Tsang will become the highest-ranking former official ever to be embroiled in a bribery trial. Rafael Hui Si-yan, who served as chief secretary in Tsang's cabinet, was jailed for 7½ years in December after a jury convicted him of taking almost HK$20 million in bribes to be favourably disposed to Sun Hung Kai Properties. He has filed an appeal. Yeung responded to criticism about the long-drawn-out investigation. "The public is legitimately concerned about this case - this is obviously an important case," he said. "But there is more than one facet … to this case. Compilation of certain evidence … involves investigations outside Hong Kong," he said. "The views of outside independent counsel have been sought, and the prosecutions division has been in contact with the Independent Commission Against Corruption."