Sir Donald Tsang, who was Hong Kong's Chief Executive between 2005 and 2012, was sentenced Wednesday to 20 months' imprisonment. He was remanded in custody on Monday, reports public broadcaster RTHK, when a jury in the territory's High Court found him guilty of one count of misconduct in office. The verdict makes Tsang the highest-ranking public servant in Hong Kong ever to be imprisoned.
Tsang was accused and convicted of not having declared as a conflict of interest an ongoing property transaction with a businessman who was applying for a digital radio license from the government. According to the South China Morning Post, that application was approved by the territory's cabinet between 2010 and 2012, while Tsang was trying to secure one of the developer's penthouses in Shenzhen for retirement.
The "breach of trust was an important and significant aspect in his criminality," Justice Andrew Chan was quoted by RTHK as saying, telling the court that the conviction's severity came from Tsang's position as the city's leader. The jury cleared him of a separate charge of misconduct, but failed to reach a majority verdict on a corruption charge, which Tsang will be retried for.
Lam Cheuk-ting, a former investigator with Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and a current lawmaker, tells TIME that the court’s message for public officials is clear. … (read more)