Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying is refusing to cooperate with a Legislative Council investigation into allegations he accepted secret payments from Australian engineering firm UGL while in office without declaring it, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun, who heads a Legco select committee formed to investigate the claims, told the media on Tuesday that the committee had invited Leung to attend its meetings but he refused.
The UGL saga was first revealed in October 2014, at the height of the pro-democracy protests, when the Australian media reported that Leung received HK$50 million in confidential payment from UGL.
UGL allegedly paid Leung the amount in installments in 2012 and 2013 during his incumbency as chief executive. Leung is a vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body.
The payments were part of a deal over DTZ, a United Kingdom-listed real estate services firm in which Leung was a director. Leung failed to declare it and paid no taxes for it.
He has denied any wrongdoing.
Last year, Legco set up a select committee to inquire into whether he had complied with the declaration requirements, whether the UGL agreement had given rise to any conflict of interest, and whether the payments were taxable.
According to Tse, Leung not only refused to show up at the committee’s meetings but also provided unsatisfactory documents.
Nearly 90 percent of the documents the committee asked Leung to provide has never been received, except some records that are already known, Tse said.
Tse said there is a big gap in the stances of both sides, especially now that Leung is no longer in office.
He said the committee will again ask Leung to attend its meetings but admitted he is not optimistic about Leung’s reply, which Tse expects to get by the end of the month.
Expressing his regret and disappointment at Leung’s uncooperative attitude, Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, a member of the select committee, said that can only make the public more doubtful about the accusations against Leung.
Lam urged the committee to force Leung to show up by citing the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance.
Tse said the committee will consider Lam’s suggestion during its meeting in December.
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