A former Chief Secretary for Administration (CS) of the Hong Kong Government, three senior members of a listed company in Hong Kong (Company A) and a businessman appeared in Eastern Magistracy this (Friday) afternoon after being charged by the ICAC with bribery and misconduct offences involving payments and unsecured loans totalling over $35 million.
The defendants were D1, 64, former CS of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and former managing director of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA); D2, 60, D3, 59, both joint chairmen of Company A; D4, 65, executive director of Company A; and D5, 61, businessman.
They faced eight charges - two of misconduct in public office and three of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office; two of conspiracy to offer advantages to a public servant, contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and Section 159A of the Crimes Ordinance; and one of furnishing false information.
No pleas were taken. Magistrate Mr David Dufton adjourned the case until October 12 for mention.
D1 alone faced two misconduct charges, which alleged him of, in the course of or in relation to his public office, namely the Managing Director of MPFA and CS, having wilfully misconducted himself by accepting the rent free use of two flats and three unsecured loans totalling $5.4 million from a subsidiary of Company A, failing to disclose or declare such matters to the MPFA and the Hong Kong Government, and involving himself in the lease renewal of the MPFA's office premises and in matters in his capacity as managing director of MPFA and CS, who was also the chairman of the Steering Committee of the West Kowloon Cultural District Project.
D1 and D2 faced a joint charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, alleging that they conspired together for D1 as CS to accept $5 million from D2 for remaining favourably disposed to D2 and/or his interests.
D1 and D3 jointly faced a similar charge of conspiring together for D1 as CS to accept $4.125 million through a company owned by D1 from Company A for D1's remaining favourably disposed to D3 and/or his interests.
D1 and D3 also jointly faced one count of furnishing false information on an invoice to purportedly show that the payment of $4.125 million was for settlement of consultancy services provided by D1.
D1 and D3 were charged with one count of conspiring together to offer D1 the annual extensions of an unsecured loan of $3 million advanced by the subsidiary of Company A as a reward for D1 to remain favourably disposed to D3 and/or his interests.
D1, D2, D4 and D5 were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, which alleged them of having conspired together for D1 as CS to accept a series of payments totalling $8.35 million from D2, D4 and D5 for D1's remaining favourably disposed to D2 and/or his interests.
D1, D4 and D5 were also jointly charged with one count of conspiring together to offer D1 a series of payments totalling $11.182 million from D4 and D5 as a reward for D1 to remain favourably disposed to D4 and/or his interests.
The above offences allegedly took place between June 2000 and January 2009.
D1 was granted cash bail of $500,000, while D2 and D3 were each on cash bail of $10 million. D4 was allowed cash bail of $5 million, while D5's bail was $200,000 cash.
D1 and D5 were also ordered not to leave Hong Kong, while the remaining defendants were required to inform the ICAC of their itineraries 24 hours before leaving Hong Kong. All defendants were ordered not to interfere with the prosecution witnesses.
The prosecution was represented by Director of Public Prosecutions Kevin Zervos and Acting Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Winnie Ho and assisted by ICAC officer Hazel Law.