Court of Final Appeal rules Tsang's actions cannot be considered "criminal". The former Hong Kong governor thanked the Court, his wife Selina and his Catholic community who have always supported him.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - After four years of legal battle, imprisonment and hospital treatment, today Donald Tsang, former head of the executive, has been declared innocent by the Court of final appeal of the territory.
The judges unanimously decided that the charges against the actions of the former Hong Kong governor (from 2005 to 2012) were not serious enough to be considered criminal. For the judges, prosecutors could not even prove that Tsang's actions were "deliberate".
In a recorded message, Donald Tsang thanked the Court, his wife Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei who was "always by his side" and his community. Tsang is known to be a devout Catholic.
The charges against Tsang emerged in 2015. He was found guilty of hiding his plans to take a three-story apartment in an exclusive neighborhood in Shenzhen, China, where he wanted to retire. It was revealed that the owner of the apartment was the rich Chinese Bill Wong Cho-bau, the largest investor in a radio station who later obtained a license for Hong Kong. Tsang was accused of conflict of interest and of having exchanged radio permits for the use of the apartment.
He was subject to two trials and was sentenced to 20 months in Stanley prison. His sentence was then reduced to 12 months. At that time he had many health problems and had to be taken to hospital often.
According to the South China Morning Post, Tsang spent more than one million Hong Kong dollars on legal fees and bail.