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corruption trial

Hong Kong ex-leader Donald Tsang has been found guilty of misconduct in office, in a case related to his use of a luxury flat in China.

The former chief executive, who led Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012, had faced three charges of misconduct and bribery.

Donald Tsang, 72, was cleared of a second count of misconduct and the jury failed to reach a verdict on a third charge of accepting an advantage.

He is the most senior Hong Kong official to face a corruption trial.

The case has worried a territory that prides itself on its relatively clean reputation.

Image source Wikipedia

The charges, which each carried a maximum of seven years in prison, related to events which took place near the end of his term between 2010 and 2012.

Prosecutors accused Donald Tsang of engaging in a number of conflicts of interest without declaring them, including renting a luxury flat in mainland China from the shareholder of a broadcast company, Wave Media, whose license applications he approved.

They alleged the flat was redecorated for free for Donald Tsang and that he later nominated the interior designer for an honor.

The jury, which deliberated for two days, found Donald Tsang guilty of misconduct over his failure to disclose the lease of the flat, but dismissed the charge related to the designer.

It did not reach a verdict on whether the former leader accepted a bribe in the form of the refurbishment. Sentencing will take place on February 20, AFP reported.

Donald Tsang has previously insisted his conscience is clear.

A career civil servant, Donald Tsang rose through the ranks to become Hong Kong’s second chief executive, following Tung Chee-hwa.

Donald Tsang’s deputy, former Chief Secretary Rafael Hui, was jailed for accepting bribes from a property tycoon in 2014.


Jonnie R. Williams, the key witness in a corruption trial of ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, has testified the former first lady sought gifts and loans in return for help with his business.

Prosecutors say Jonnie Williams gave Bob and Maureen McDonnell gifts and loans totaling $165,000 (£97,000).

Bob McDonnell denies wrongdoing. His wife says their marriage was frayed and she had a “crush” on Jonnie Williams.

On Thursday, Jonnie Williams said buying gifts for the couple was poor judgment.

Jonnie Williams, the head of a vitamin supplements company called Star Scientific, said buying a $6,000 Rolex watch on the request of Maureen McDonnell was “a bad decision on my part”.

“I shouldn’t have had to buy things like that to get the help I needed,” Jonnie Williams told jurors as they inspected the watch in question.

He also denied being friends with the McDonnells.

Prosecutors say Jonnie Williams gave Bob and Maureen McDonnell gifts and loans totaling $165,000

Prosecutors say Jonnie Williams gave Bob and Maureen McDonnell gifts and loans totaling $165,000

Prosecutors say Bob McDonnell was in financial need and traded on his position to win gifts of travel and cash from Jonnie Williams, for whom he arranged meetings with state officials.

However, Bob McDonnell argues he was only doing for Jonnie Williams what he would for any Virginia businessman.

On Wednesday, Jonnie Williams testified Maureen McDonnell asked him for money and to pay for high-end shopping trips, offering to connect him to the governor in return.

Jonnie Williams, to whom prosecutors have granted immunity, said he insisted on speaking to the governor before giving her any cash, and testified that the governor subsequently thanked him for his generosity.

As his testimony resumed on Thursday, the chief executive said he refused some of Maureen McDonnell’s requests because he believed they would be too visible – including vehicles for two of Bob McDonnell’s children and purchasing the couple’s money-losing rental properties.

Jonnie Williams also said he decided against a secret stock transfer to Bob McDonnell because he could not have hid the transaction from US regulators.

Bob McDonnell, once a rising star in the Republican Party with aspirations for national office, left office in disgrace in January at the end of his term. Virginia governors are barred from running for a second consecutive term, and he was succeeded by Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

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The former France President Jacques Chirac says he is not in a fit state to attend his corruption trial, according to French media.

Jacques Chirac has asked the Paris court for his lawyers be allowed to represent him, AFP news agency has reported.

Jacques Chirac, 78, is accused of embezzling public funds in the 1990s, when he was mayor of Paris, but he denies the charges.

His trial is due to start on September 5, having been adjourned in March after a co-defendant argued that some of the charges were unconstitutional.

Jacques Chirac is the first former head of state to stand trial in France since World War II

Jacques Chirac is the first former head of state to stand trial in France since World War II


In a letter to the Paris court on Friday, Jacques Chirac wrote that he wanted his trial to go ahead “even if he no longer has the full ability to participate in hearings”.

A statement from former president Chirac’s lawyers said:

“In the letter… he requested that his lawyers be able to represent him and carry his voice during these hearings.”

A copy of Jacques Chirac’s medical records was enclosed in the letter, it added.

The medical report attached to Jacques Chirac’s letter to the court suggests his mind is in a “vulnerable mental state which does not permit him to answer questions about his past”.

This supports suggestions from friends of the ex-president that in recent months he has been suffering from memory lapses.

While the letter is an informal request, it is within the judge’s powers to accept it, or request a second medical opinion.

The letter could result in the trial being delayed, and possibly postponed indefinitely if it is deemed that Jacques Chirac is no longer able to talk with any reliability about things that happened more than 20 years ago.

French media described Jacques Chirac as tired during a holiday in St. Tropez last month, although he reportedly signed autographs and posed for pictures with tourists.

Jacques Chirac, who was mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, is the first former head of state to stand trial in France since World War II.

The ex-president is accused on two counts of paying members of his Rally for the Republic (RPR) party for municipal jobs that did not exist.

The first count accuses Jacques Chirac of embezzlement and breach of trust relating to 21 so-called “ghost jobs”.

The second count came about from a separate investigation in the Paris suburb of Nanterre and involves an illegal conflict of interest relating to seven ghost jobs.

There were persistent rumors of wrongdoing for years, but Jacques Chirac had immunity from prosecution while he was president from 1995 to 2007.

After 11 years of legal wrangling, Chirac and nine other defendants finally went in court in March.

However, on the second day of the trial a lawyer representing Jacques Chirac’s former chief of staff at city hall, Remy Chardon, challenged the two cases being brought together.

He argued that the statute of limitations had expired in the first case.

The judge decided to refer the question to the Court of Cassation, which ruled that the constitutional challenge was not valid.