Hong Kong’s leader Leung Chun-ying on Monday offered some pro-establishment groups details on the 4-million-pounds (US$6.4 million) payment agreement that he had signed with Australian engineering firm UGL in 2011, according to Sing Tao Daily.
The presentation, which took place at a closed-door meeting, came as the Legislative Council prepares to discuss on Wednesday a motion to cite LegCo Powers and Privileges ordinance to initiate investigations into the secret payment received by Leung, the paper said.
Pro-democracy groups criticized Leung’s move to present the case only to select pro-establishment groups, instead to explaining to the Legislative Council and the general public, the report said.
Leung said that half of the 4 million pounds was a resignation remuneration, while the remainder was due to a non-compete arrangement. The non-compete clause was put in place to prevent Leung from moving to a competitor, or poach any people from DTZ, following UGL’s acquisition of DTZ.
Leung owned a stake and was a director on the board of DTZ before it was acquired by UGL.
The payment agreement, first revealed by Australia’s Fairfax Media, showed Leung receiving the money in two installments — in 2012 and 2013, after he assumed the office of Hong Kong Chief Executive.
The UGL secret payment controversy has added to the pressure on Leung, whose public support was already diminishing.
Regarding DTZ’s non-acceptance of a higher buyout offer from a Tianjin company, Leung said the proposal was rejected as DTZ felt it would be difficult to accept the Tianjin firm’s conditions, which included the moving of the DTZ headquarters to Tianjin.
Responding to conflict of interest allegations in relation to DTZ Japan and Asia Television, Leung dismissed the charges and stressed that he held stake in DTZ Japan via a trust.
Critics had pointed out earlier that when the Hong Kong government issued a free-air TV license to Asia Television (ATV), DTZ Japan was having business connections with HKR International, whose chairman Payson Cha also holds stake in ATV.
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