Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang avoids third trial over ‘accepting an advantage’ charge

Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang will not be subject to another retrial over the charge of accepting an advantage for now. The news comes after juries twice failed to convict him this year.

On Monday, the prosecution said that it would not seek another retrial unless the court gives directions as such.

According to Queen’s Counsel David Perry, who acted for the prosecution, there could be another retrial should new evidence emerge from court proceedings where Tsang is appealing another conviction for misconduct.

donald tsang

Photo: Stand News.

Tsang, 73, was charged with the crime of “accepting an advantage” as chief executive, contrary to section 4 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. The charges concerned unpaid renovations of a penthouse in East Pacific Garden, Shenzhen between 2010 and 2012. Tsang was the chief executive and chairman of the Executive Council at the time.

In February, the jury convicted Tsang of misconduct in public office for failing to disclose his plans to lease a luxury flat. The flat’s owner was a major investor in a broadcaster, which was later granted a licence from the government on Tsang’s watch.

Tsang is the first former leader of the city to be convicted in a criminal trial. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, but – after fewer than two months in Stanley Prison – he was granted bail pending an appeal against his conviction.

high court

File photo: In-Media.

He was unanimously acquitted of another misconduct charge over an allegation that he failed to declare that an architect he proposed for a government award was employed as an interior designer on the apartment.

However, the jury could not reach a majority decision on Tsang’s third charge of accepting an advantage. The case then underwent a retrial but the new, eight-person jury again failed to reach a valid verdict last Friday and were discharged by judge Andrew Chan.

Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang avoids third trial over 'accepting an advantage' charge