CY admits secretly intervening in UGL probe

CY admits secretly intervening in UGL probe

The Chief Executive, CY Leung, on Tuesday admitted approaching DAB vice chairman Holden Chow to try to shape the scope of an impending Legco investigation into payments of tens of millions of dollars he received from Australian firm UGL.

His admission prompted pan-democratic lawmakers to warn that both Leung and Chow could have broken the law, and a number of political groups said they would be reporting the matter to the ICAC.

Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Leung said he told Chow that the investigation should be made as wide as possible, even if it means going beyond the powers of the select committee, in order to address all of the concerns raised.

When asked by reporters why he didn’t write to the Legco Secretariat instead, Leung simply said he has the right to suggest changes to the future probe.

He also called for another Legco probe to be carried out, into who leaked details about his intervention in the matter.

It was revealed on Monday that lawmakers had been alerted by the Legco Secretariat to the fact that computer records showed a document submitted by Chow had been amended by the Chief Executive’s Office.

Leung said on Tuesday that the leaking of the document in question was unacceptable and someone at Monday’s closed-door meeting had breached the select committee’s confidentiality agreement.

The CE’s comments sparked further fury among pro-democracy councillors, with the Democratic Party’s Lam Cheuk-ting suggesting both Leung and Chow may have breached the law.

“I do think that the CE, Mr CY Leung, and the honourable Holden Chow that their behaviours may have committed the offence of misconduct in public office”, Lam said.

Another Democratic Party lawmaker on the select committee, Andrew Wan, said the changes Leung wanted to be made were to his advantage and the CE was trying to shift the focus of the probe.

Leung has repeatedly been accused of failing to properly declare the HK$50 million in payments he received from UGL several years ago. But he denies any wrongdoing, saying they were part of a standard non-compete and non-poach agreement.