Hong Kong court rejects ex-leader Donald Tsang's appeal against misconduct conviction

Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang and his wife arrive at the High Court for his appeals court judgment on a misconduct charge in Hong Kong, on July 20, 2018.
Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang and his wife arrive at the High Court for his appeals court judgment on a misconduct charge in Hong Kong, on July 20, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG - A Hong Kong court on Friday (Aug 31) rejected jailed former chief executive Donald Tsang's second attempt to appeal against his conviction for misconduct in public office, local media reported.

Tsang, 73, can still seek leave to appeal from the Court of Final Appeal, the South China Morning Post reported.

Court of Appeal justices Wally Yeung Chun Kuen, Andrew Macrae and Derek Pang Wai Cheong on Friday refused to certify that a point of law of great and general importance was involved in the high-profile case.

Tsang's conviction centred on a conflict of interest involving a three-storey luxury penthouse in the fashionable district of Futian in Shenzhen, mainland China.

Tsang, who served as chief executive from 2005 to 2012, had planned to make the penthouse his temporary retirement home. He began negotiations to rent the property, which belonged to a company chaired by Chinese Bill Wong Cho Bau, at a time when Tsang was in charge of approving licence applications from radio station Wave Media, of which Wong was a majority shareholder.

He never declared his dealings with Wong to his Cabinet while the licence applications were considered.

He was found guilty of misconduct in public office in February last year for failing to disclose the penthouse deal.

While Tsang argued there was nothing corrupt about his conduct, the appeal justices ruled in July that he was still criminally liable for deliberately keeping it quiet. However, they reduced his original 20-month jail sentence to 12 months.

Tsang, who has served about three months of his sentence, did not show up in court on Friday morning, due to his "current health condition", SCMP reported.