HONG KONG, Jan. 3 (UPI) — Donald Tsang , Hong Kong’s chief executive from 2005 until 2012, has pleaded not guilty to corruption charges related to a luxury apartment in China.
Tsang, 72, pleaded not guilty to three charges of bribery and misconduct on Tuesday. Prosecutors allege Tsang did not declare numerous conflicts of interest, including renting a three-story luxury apartment in Shenzhen from businessman Bill Wong Cho-bau, a shareholder of the Wave Media broadcast company.
Prosecutors allege Tsang approved the company’s license applications. The apartment was later redecorated for free , while Tsang later nominated the apartment’s interior designer, Barrie Ho Chow-lai, for an honor, prosecutors said.
Tsang is the highest-ranking official to ever face a criminal trial in Hong Kong history. The trial will be determined by a panel of nine jurors.
Tsang faces up to 21 years in prison, as each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years. He was initially popular when taking office, promising a “clean and efficient” tenure, but his popularity plummeted amid corruption allegations in his last years in office.