Hong Kong Received’t Prosecute Ex-Chief Over Claims of Battle of Curiosity

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong prosecutors mentioned on Wednesday that they might not pursue expenses towards the territory’s earlier chief, who had acquired thousands and thousands of {dollars} from an organization that additionally had a contract with the town’s subway system.

The previous chief, Leung Chun-ying, who was Hong Kong’s chief govt from 2012 to 2017, got here beneath suspicion in 2014, when it emerged that the Australian firm UGL had agreed to pay him $6.four million.

UGL has in depth connections with the MTR Company, which runs Hong Kong’s subway, and held a longstanding contract then value about $41.9 million to take care of 120 practice vehicles.

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The allegations of battle of curiosity added to requires Mr. Leung’s ouster in the course of the Umbrella Motion, the large-scale road protests in 2014 calling for extra open democracy.

Hong Kong’s anti-graft physique, the Unbiased Fee Towards Corruption, investigated Mr. Leung’s dealings with UGL. However the Division of Justice mentioned it had determined that the outcomes had been inadequate to warrant prosecution as a result of there was “no cheap prospect of conviction of a corruption cost towards Mr. Leung.”

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The 2011 deal for UGL to pay Mr. Leung was a part of a sale of an organization that he had as soon as run. Whereas the association was made earlier than he grew to become chief govt, the cash was paid out whereas he was in workplace.

The Hong Kong authorities owns 75 p.c of MTR and appoints its chairman. However the firm mentioned that it had not awarded any new contracts to UGL earlier than Mr. Leung’s association was revealed. Mr. Leung mentioned he had no oversight of day-to-day transportation coverage, and MTR mentioned contracts had been reviewed by board members with out data of the bidder’s names.

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Nonetheless, the multimillion-dollar funds added to rising criticism of Mr. Leung, who was constantly much less fashionable than his predecessors and left workplace with out pursuing a second time period.

Holden Chow, a pro-establishment lawmaker, was additionally investigated for allegedly working with Mr. Leung to intervene with a legislative investigation into the deal. The Division of Justice mentioned on Wednesday there was inadequate proof to cost Mr. Chow with misconduct in public workplace.

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