Former Hong Kong leader guilty in unprecedented graft trial

HONG KONG (AP) " A former leader of Hong Kong was convicted Friday of corruption over a luxury apartment in mainland China intended for his retirement, local media reported.

The nine-member jury deliberating two days before finding Donald Tsang guilty of one count of misconduct in office and not guilty on a second count, the South China Morning Post and broadcaster RTHK said.

Tsang, 72, served as Hong Kong's leader, or chief executive, from 2005 to 2012. He becomes the highest-ranking current or former official convicted of corruption in the Asian financial hub, which prides itself on a reputation for clean governance.

It's one of several recent cases that have shaken public confidence and raised concerns about cozy ties between Hong Kong's leaders and wealthy tycoons.

The jurors ruled 8-1 that he committed misconduct by failing to declare that the Shenzhen penthouse he planned to rent was owned by a businessman whose media company was applying for a digital radio license, the reports said. Tsang's defense argued the connection was too distant and didn't need to be declared.

The jurors unanimously cleared him of a charge that he nominated for an award the interior designer who renovated the penthouse but didn't disclose that connection. They couldn't decide on a third count of accepting an advantage.

Tsang was granted bail and was expected to return to court on Monday. He faces up to seven years in prison.

In 2014, Rafael Hui, who was chief secretary " or No. 2 official, during the first two years that Tsang was in office, was convicted and sentenced to prison in a separate corruption case.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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