Date
23 September 2017
Hong Kong authorities will have to decide whether there is enough evidence to press charges against former leader Donald Tsang, who has been accused of accepting favors from business tycoons. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong authorities will have to decide whether there is enough evidence to press charges against former leader Donald Tsang, who has been accused of accepting favors from business tycoons. Photo: HKEJ

Decision on charges against Tsang ‘very soon’: chief prosecutor

Hong Kong’s chief public prosecutor Keith Yeung said on Monday that the city’s anti-graft body has completed a probe into alleged improper conduct by ex-chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, and that a decision will be made “very soon” as to whether charges should be filed against the former leader.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) conducted an investigation into allegations that Tsang accepted undue favors and hospitality from business tycoons during his term in office. 

The Department of Justice is now reviewing the evidence and will decide soon whether Tsang should face prosecution, Yeung said, according to Ming Pao Daily.

Asked by legislator Dennis Kwok how the case was progressing, Yeung said at a meeting of the Legislative Council’s Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services that he has been in touch with the ICAC and that authorities are reviewing the relevant laws and information.

He declined to provide more details on the case.

ICAC began a probe after it received complaints in February 2012 before Tsang ended his term on June 30 that year. Tsang was allegedly involved in some questionable acts, including renting a luxury house in Shenzhen at a low price from a mainland tycoon. There were also reports that he accepted extravagant hospitality from businessmen, including overseas holiday trips on private jets and luxury yachts.

Kwok said it is difficult to understand why it took three years to complete the investigation, and questioned if Yeung’s use of the term “very soon” for a decision on framing charges means that the timeframe has been left open.

The lawmaker said he will keep following up on the case, especially if no decision is made within three months from now.

Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice, said after the meeting that cases involving corruption-related charges usually require lengthy investigation. The decision on charges is not as simple as many people think, he said, adding that the evidence needs to be studied carefully.

Legislator Priscilla Leung said she fears there could be political unrest if Tsang is prosecuted and the public’s confidence in the government is shaken. She urged progress or results of the case to be revealed as soon as possible so as to prevent people from unnecessary speculation.

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TL/AC/RC

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