Date
17 November 2017
Former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, with his wife, is awaiting the jury's verdict on the bribery charges. Photo: CNSA
Former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, with his wife, is awaiting the jury's verdict on the bribery charges. Photo: CNSA

Donald Tsang awaits jury’s verdict on bribery charges

Jury deliberations in the bribery trial of former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen resumed on Friday.

The jurors took more than seven hours to discuss the case on Thursday but failed to come up with a verdict, prompting the judge to ask them to go home at around 8 p.m., Apple Daily reports. Proceedings resumed at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

The former Hong Kong leader is facing charges of accepting a HK$3.5 million bribe in the form of a complimentary renovation project from Bill Wong Cho-bau, the boss of radio broadcaster Wave Media Ltd. (later renamed Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong), from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2012.

Tsang left the court with his wife after thanking the judge. Answering a reporter’s question, he said he would try to rest early on Thursday night.

The jury, consisting of four men and four women, retired from the courtroom at 1 p.m. on Thursday to discuss the case. They returned at around 4 p.m. to request a reading from the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

They requested to read Articles 2, 4, 11 and 12 on the interpretation of advantages, reasons for not accepting bribery, and certain details regarding the penalties for offenses.

They also requested the judge to explain the provisions in Chinese.

Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai gave them the first three requested parts in both English and Chinese, but said the penalty section was not relevant to the case.

At 8 p.m,  the jury put forward two other questions: “If Tsang had not handled the licensing application for Wave Media, would accepting the renovation still be seen as bribery?” and “Is penalizing Tsang related to the licensing?”

The judge told the jury that the two questions would not be tackled on Thursday and he would provide the answers on Friday. He also reminded them that they must not discuss the case beyond the courtroom.

He also reminded them that he was merely providing legislative guidance, and that if they did not agree with his opinion, they should judge the case with their personal experience and wisdom.

In case the decision is not unanimous, a vote of 7-1 or 6-2 is also effective, the judge said. However, a vote of 5-3 is not going to be accepted as a verdict, he said.

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EL/BN/CG

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