Former chief secretary Rafael Hui said a top Beijing official gave him HK$11.18 million in 2007 to support him financially, RTHK reported.
Testifying during his trial on corruption charges, Hui said he received the money from Francis Kwan Hung-sang, a co-defendant in the case, at the end of 2007.
But the payment was not from the Kwok brothers of Sun Hung Kai Properties, where he said he worked as a consultant, but from Liao Hui, the director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.
Liao met Hui in March 2007 and encouraged him to stay on as chief secretary, Hui told the court.
“Liao Hui hoped that I could stay on as chief secretary. I replied by saying my financial status did not allow it,” Hui said.
Liao told him to exercise more restraint in his finances and not to overspend, and said he would “think about how to help me”, Hui said.
At the end of 2007, Kwan told him that “someone from Beijing” gave him HK$11 million, and since Hui has no bank account on the mainland, the money was transferred to Kwan and then handed to him.
“I have suspected the payments are linked with Liao Hui given that he promised to help me earlier,” Hui said, but Kwan would not tell him who gave the money.
Hui did not declare the money to the Executive Council because it “originated from the mainland”, and hence was “unrelated” to Hong Kong affairs. He said there was no conflict of interest with his position in the Executive Council.
In March 2008, Hui met Liao again when he was attending a banquet in Beijing.
“I’ve helped you. Don’t overspend anymore,” Hui quoted Liao as saying.
Liao was then vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, making him a high-ranking government leader.
Hui said he did not ask for details about the money as “leaders will only tell you what they want you to know”.
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