HONG KONG (AFP) – Lawyers for Hong Kong property tycoon Thomas Kwok and the government’s former deputy leader Rafael Hui pressed for leniency Monday as their clients faced seven years in prison after being convicted of corruption.
Kwok, 63, and Hui, 66, were found guilty Friday in a trial which has shocked the city known for clean governance.
Hui is the most senior official to be convicted of graft in Hong Kong’s history, while Thomas Kwok was joint chairman of its biggest property company, Sun Hung Kai.
Kwok resigned from the conglomerate Friday, according to a company statement.
Judge Andrew Macrae said he would announce the sentences Tuesday, after both defence teams argued against lengthy sentences, citing age and frailty – including a susceptibility to cold weather.
Kwok and Hui could be given seven years’ jail after being found guilty of “conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office” over payments amounting to HK$8.5 million (US$1.1 million) made to Hui, dating from the months leading to his 2005 appointment to the government’s second-highest post of chief secretary.