Former Hong Kong home affairs secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping was found guilty on Wednesday of US charges that he took part in a scheme to bribe officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for contracts for a Chinese energy firm, Reuters reports.
After a trial lasting just over a week, a jury in a federal court in New York convicted Ho, 69, on seven out of eight counts of bribery and other charges laid against him, the report said.
Ho, who had served as Hong Kong’s Secretary for Home Affairs from 2002 to 2007, was arrested in November 2017 on charges of violating US foreign corruption law, money laundering and conspiracy.
Federal prosecutors said he arranged bribes on behalf of a Chinese energy company that funds an organization he leads.
At the time of his arrest, Ho was secretary-general of the Hong Kong-based China Energy Fund Committee, an organization funded by the Shanghai-based energy conglomerate CEFC China Energy.
Prosecutors said Ho caused the energy company to offer a US$2 million bribe to the president of Chad, Idriss Deby, in 2015 in exchange for exclusive oil rights in that country.
The government of Chad has denied the US charges.
Prosecutors also said that Ho caused US$500,000 to be wired to Uganda’s foreign minister in 2016, with the promise of further payments in the future, to secure favors for the Chinese company.
Ho will be sentenced on March 14, according to reports.
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