Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying threatens legal action over ‘false statements’ about his HK$50 million UGL deal
Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting revealed case was being followed up by Britain’s top anti-crime officer
Hong Kong’s former leader has threatened a Democratic Party lawmaker with legal action for making “false statements” about a past business deal, as it emerged the complaint was being handled by Britain’s top anti-crime officer.
Leung Chun-ying, who is now a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top national political advisory body, said he “reserved the right to take legal action” against Lam Cheuk-ting in a statement issued on Wednesday, via his lawyer, Peter Sit.
Lam – who recently travelled to the UK to report Leung’s HK$50 million (US$6.4 million) deal with Australian firm UGL in 2011 – retorted by saying he reserved the right to file complaints in other relevant jurisdictions to look into the agreement reached shortly before Leung was elected Hong Kong chief executive in 2012.
Lam also revealed the case was being directly followed up by Lynne Owens, director general of the UK’s National Crime Agency.
Lam’s claim that Leung’s deal was reached while he was still a director of DTZ – a listed company in the UK that was later acquired by UGL – was false, the lawyer said.
“Legislator Lam Cheuk-ting turned a blind eye to the fact already elaborated in documents [submitted to] the Legislative Council and disclosed in other publicly accessible information,” the statement read.
This came hours after Lam produced a letter issued by Owens, stating: “I have directed [the NCA’s Bribery and Corruption Intelligence Unit] to review the documentation you provided them to identify whether any criminality has occurred that might fall within our jurisdiction.”
The top law enforcement officer also stated in the letter that she would be “personally updated”on the progress.
Commenting on the legal threat, Lam said his accusation was based on facts as he had strong reasons to doubt Leung had betrayed the interests of the DTZ’s directors and shareholders.
“I also reserve the right to further file criminal complaints against Leung Chun-ying, including in Australia, to complain about his possible involvement in a transnational bribery,” Lam said.
The controversy over the agreement lingered after Leung stepped down from Hong Kong’s top job.
Leung received a total of HK$50 million in 2012 and 2013 in the deal, which was concluded shortly before he was elected chief executive in 2012, and exposed by Australian media in 2014.