19 April 2019
Former chief executive Donald Tsang and his wife Selina arrive at the High Court on Monday. Photo: RTHK
Former chief executive Donald Tsang and his wife Selina arrive at the High Court on Monday. Photo: RTHK

Donald Tsang in custody, sentencing set for Wednesday

Former chief executive Donald Tsang, convicted of one count of misconduct in public office, became the highest-ranking ex-official in Hong Kong to spend time in jail after the court remanded him in custody, pending his sentencing.

The order was made by High Court judge Mr. Justice Andrew Chan, who set Tsang’s sentencing for Wednesday, public broadcaster RTHK reports.

On Friday a nine-member jury found Tsang guilty of misconduct in public office for failing to inform the Executive Council during its meetings, in which license applications by Wave Media Ltd. (WML) were discussed and approved, about his negotiations with WML major shareholder Bill Wong over a rental arrangement for a penthouse in Shenzhen.

Handing Tsang to correction facility officials, the judge said he decided to keep Tsang behind bars until sentencing because he “doesn’t have a [different] set of rules for the rich and [famous]“.

An emotional Tsang, with eyes reddened, talked to his wife Selina and two sons briefly behind the glass screen of the dock before being taken away, RTHK said.

The two sons held their mother’s hand when they walked out of the court room, the report said.

Earlier the prosecution said Tsang will be retried on a corruption allegation on which a nine-member jury failed to return a majority verdict.

Tsang is accused of having accepted, as an advantage, free renovation of the Shenzhen flat from Bill Wong for the granting of a digital radio license to one of his companies in return.

Prosecutors told the High Court that given the seriousness of the corruption charge, a retrial is necessary in the interest of justice.

The defense lawyer, Queen’s Counsel Clare Montgomery, pleaded for a lenient sentence over the misconduct conviction.

She also asked the court to postpone sentencing for the offense until after the conclusion of the retrial. But the court rejected the request.

She also submitted mitigation letters, many written by officials and politicians Tsang had worked with.

They included four former chief secretaries Carrie Lam, Henry Tang, Anson Chan and Stephen Lam; former financial secretary John Tsang, former justice secretary Wong Yan-lung, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam, as well as pan-democrats Albert Ho and Martin Lee.

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