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Ex-Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang jailed for 20 months

Donald Tsang - ex-chief executive of Hong Kong - has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for misconduct in public office. He is the highest-ranking ex-official to be charged - and sentenced - in the city's history.

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Ex-Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang jailed

After a six-week trial the jury at the High Court in Hong Kong found Tsang had failed to disclose a conflict of interest when he approved three applications from radio broadcaster Wave Media between 2010 and 2012, including a request for a digital broadcast license.

The court found that Tsang was at the same time in negotiations with property tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau over a luxury Shenzhen penthouse. Wong was also a 20 percent shareholder of the radio station.

Tsang was found guilty of failing to disclose his plans to rent a luxury flat from Wong before the broadcaster was granted a licence from the government while he was leader.

The prosecution alleged that Tsang had "abused the system" by intentionally keeping the property a secret from the city's Executive Council while they were discussing the applications, despite rules requiring executive councillors to declare all possible conflicts of interest.

Bribery retrial

Tsang also faces a retrial - provisionally set for September - for a bribery charge on which the jury failed to reach a verdict.

The 72-year old - who held the leadership post from 2005 to 2012 - pleaded not guilty to misconduct and bribery.

After Tsang was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital's custodial ward on Monday night with a severe cough, Tsang's lawyer had sought a lenient sentence for her client.

Clare Montgomery asked presiding judge Justice Andrew Chan Hing-wai to show "compassion" for her client and for his sentence to be suspended.

jbh/jm (Reuters, AFP)

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