Former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has pleaded not guilty to misconduct and bribery as his trial commenced on Tuesday at the High Court.

Tsang, 72, is facing two counts of misconduct in public office, and one instance of a chief executive accepting an advantage in violation of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. He arrived in court on Tuesday morning dressed in a suit and his trademark bow-tie, in the company of his wife, Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei.

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Tsang and his wife. Photo: i-cable TV screenshot via Stand News.

Tsang has pleaded not guilty to all three charges, each of which carries a maximum sentence of seven years. The trial is expected to last 20 days, and the case is being before The Honourable Justice Andrew Chan.

The charges relate to events that took place from 2010 to 2012, and concern his failure to make a declaration of interest in Executive Council meetings, as well as the leasing and refurbishment of a luxury flat in Shenzhen.

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The High Court. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The flat was owned by a major investor in a broadcaster seeking a licence from the Hong Kong government. Tsang also failed to declare that an architect he proposed for a government award was employed as an interior designer for the flat.

Tsang, who served as chief executive of Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012, is the highest-ranking official in the city to face corruption charges. He was not officially charged until October 2015 and the sluggish progress of the case’s investigation has been subject to much criticism.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.