Hong Kong's former leader Donald Tsang abused power, says prosecutor

Donald Tsang at the High Court during the first day of his corruption trial in Hong Kong on Jan 3, 2017. Tsang is the highest-ranking Hong Kong official to be taken to court for graft.
Donald Tsang at the High Court during the first day of his corruption trial in Hong Kong on Jan 3, 2017. Tsang is the highest-ranking Hong Kong official to be taken to court for graft.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG • Hong Kong's former leader Donald Tsang abused power and was "hopelessly compromised" while in office, prosecutors said yesterday in opening arguments at his high-profile corruption trial.

Tsang, 72, "exploited his position as chief executive", said prosecutor David Perry, in what he termed a "classic conflict of interest".

The former chief executive, who held the post for seven years from 2005, sat solemnly in court, coughing often. He is the highest-ranking Hong Kong official to be taken to court for graft.

 

Tsang has pleaded not guilty to three charges of misconduct and bribery relating to his time in office, each of which carries a jail sentence of up to seven years.

In 2012, he apologised for separate allegations that he accepted inappropriate gifts from business friends in the form of trips on luxury yachts and private jets.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2017, with the headline 'Tsang abused power, says prosecutor'. Print Edition | Subscribe