Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

CY Leung uncooperative in legislature investigation of HK$50m UGL deal, says head of probe

Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying has refused to attend meetings and provide requested information to a Legislative Council committee investigating him, according to the chair of the committee.

The remarks came as a pro-democracy lawmaker said he will report Leung to Britain’s corruption watchdog over his HK$50 million payment from past business dealings.

Paul Tse, the committee chair, said more than 90 per cent of the requests sent by the committee received negative responses from Leung: “He only provided a series of news reports, answers from [then-chief secretary] Carrie Lam at the Legislative Council, and answers through his lawyers.”

paul tse cy leung

Paul Tse and Leung Chun-ying. File Photo: LegCo.

“The documents we requested, including those concerning the process of his declarations – he submitted none of them,” Tse said. “We did not have Mr Leung’s full cooperation.”

The committee has no legal power and cannot compel Leung to give statements or provide documents.

Leung received a payment of HK$50 million from Australian firm UGL in exchange for agreeing not to join rival companies within two years, after it bought the DTZ company. Leung was a director at DTZ before running for chief executive, but parts of the payment were received during his tenure as Hong Kong’s leader. He did not declare the sums to the Executive Council and argued that it was unnecessary to do so as it was a normal “non-compete and non-poach” agreement.

After a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, Tse said the committee decided to write to Leung, law enforcement agencies, and the Inland Revenue Department to request assistance. Tse said he hoped to receive their replies by the end of this month and will then make relevant decisions.

The next committee meeting will be held next month.

Lam Cheuk-ting

Lam Cheuk-ting. File Photo: In-Media.

National Crime Agency

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said he was disappointed by Leung’s refusal to cooperate. “The public will have even more questions over whether he can explain the UGL scandal,” he said.

Lam said the documents requested by the committee cannot be obtained via public means and can only be provided by Leung.

He warned that if Leung insists on not showing up, he will propose that the committee cites LegCo’s Powers and Privileges Ordinance to force Leung to comply legally.

Meanwhile, Lam plans to go to the UK’s National Crime Agency’s International Corruption Unit on Friday to file complaints, as he is attending the annual Westminster Conference in London next week.

Lam told reporters that the UK government should investigate, as DTZ was once listed in the UK: “Leung Chun-ying received money from UGL to help UGL purchase DTZ, in which he has a stake – [his actions] harmed the interests of small DTZ shareholders.”

Lam will also ask the agency to look into potential tax evasion on Leung’s part.

The committee was embroiled in scandal in May after lawmaker Holden Chow was found to have allowed Leung to amend the scope of the inquiry. Chow subsequently apologised for his “lack of political sensitivity” and stepped down from the committee.

CY Leung uncooperative in legislature investigation of HK$50m UGL deal, says head of probe