Tsang appeared at the well-publicized National Day reception in Hong Kong on October. 1, Thursday, less than a week before the charges came.
Hong Kong’s former leader Donald Tsang was Monday charged with misconduct during his time in office, local media said, the latest high-profile corruption case to hit the city.
After the hearing, Tsang told a throng of TV journalists gathered on the courthouse steps that he was confident he would be cleared, repeating a brief statement issued earlier by his office.
The case comes less than a year after Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok and the government’s former deputy leader Rafael Hui were jailed for graft after Hui was found guilty of taking bribes from Kwok and Kwok’s brother Raymond.
“The decision to prosecute was made after careful and thorough consideration of the available evidence”, said Hong Kong’s department of justice.
He was accompanied by his wife, Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei, who said she was disheartened for being “dragged into a whirlpool” despite a desire for a quiet, post-retirement life.
His company, Digital Broadcasting Corp. of Hong Kong, had multiple license applications that were discussed and approved by Tsang’s cabinet.
The city’s corruption watchdog, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, said Donald Tsang has been charged with two counts of misconduct in public office.
The case was one of several disclosures that have exposed cozy ties between wealthy tycoons and the city’s leaders.
In the second charge, the ICAC alleges that Tsang failed to disclose that an interior designer he hired to redecorate the apartment was someone he had proposed for a government honor.
“My conscience is clear”, he said.
The charges against Tsang are in connection with his failure to file conflict of interest declarations to the Executive Council – the de facto cabinet – according to government-owned broadcaster RTHK.
In 2012, Tsang had retired after a high-flying career as a civil servant, serving as a senior official in the former British colonial administration and a former financial secretary. “I have every confidence that the court will exonerate me at the end of its proceedings”.