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Friends and foes present mitigation letters in support of former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang


Chief executive contenders, Democratic Party members and former ministers in Tsang’s cabinet among those seeking leniency for ex-leader
While prosecutors portrayed Donald Tsang Yam-kuen as a two-faced man who was undone by greed, the High Court on Monday was presented with an outpouring of public support in the form of mitigation letters from the former chief executive’s friends and critics alike. In a last-ditch plea for leniency, defence counsel Clare Montgomery QC pleaded for leniency, citing letters that praised Tsang – a “role model” for many – for his contributions in defending the rule of law, advancing democracy and boosting the economy. Prominent among a stack of some 40 letters was one written by Wong Yan-lung SC, who served as Tsang’s justice minister. Attending the mitigation session, he recalled that Tsang was a boss who put his own reputation on the line for the democratic development of Hong Kong. Wong wrote that in 2010, the political reform package proposed by Tsang’s administration was losing support in the Legislative Council – unless it was modified to incorporate suggestions made by the Democratic Party. “It was an agonising decision for him as he had to override certain internal opposition and risk personal credibility and trust before the [central people’s government],” Wong recalled. Wong described Tsang’s decision to accommodate the Democrats’ suggestions as “a selfless act” for the long-term well-being of Hong Kong in its quest for universal suffrage. “Donald truly believes in judicial independence.

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