Hong Kong ex-leader Donald Tsang sentenced to 20 months for corruption
Feb.22, Beijing: A former leader of Hong Kong was sentenced to 20 months in prison for misconduct after failing to disclose plans to rent a luxury apartment for his retirement from a businessman applying for a broadcasting license, reports said.
High Court Judge Andrew Chan said on Wednesday that it was a stunning downfall for Donald Tsang, who served as Hong Kong's leader, or chief executive, from 2005 to 2012.
Tsang, 72, becomes the highest-ranking current or former official sent to prison for wrongdoing in the Asian financial hub, which prides itself on a reputation for clean governance.
According to the judge said he was going to give Tsang 30 months in jail but took off 10 months because of his good character and contribution to Hong Kong. The maximum penalty for misconduct is seven years.
Tsang showed little emotion as the sentence was read out in a packed courtroom.
Chan noted that among Tsang's major contributions to public service, one that stood out was "his effort in overcoming" the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. It's one of several recent cases that have shaken public confidence and raised concerns about cozy ties between Hong Kong's leaders and wealthy tycoons.
Jurors ruled 8-1 that he committed misconduct when he failed to disclose that the penthouse in neighbouring Shenzhen in mainland China was owned by a businessman whose company was applying for a digital radio license.
They unanimously cleared him of the second misconduct charge, which alleged he failed to reveal he had nominated for an award an interior designer working on the penthouse's renovations.
The jury couldn't decide on a third charge of accepting an advantage. A retrial is tentatively scheduled for September.
Outside the court, Tsang's wife Selina said that her husband would appeal the verdict.
The Oslo Times International News Network