MOSCOW, December 23 (Sputnik) — The Hong Kong court issued jail sentences to a former top government official and a property tycoon in a landmark ruling, closing a high profile corruption case in the region, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Tuesday.
Following a months long corruption trial, the region’s court sentenced former Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong Rafael Hui Si-yan, 66, to seven and a half years in jail, while property tycoon Thomas Kwok, 63, received a five year jail sentence, as reported by the newspaper.
"It is vitally important in these times [that] the Hong Kong government and business community remain and are seen to remain corruption-free, particularly when the mainland [China] is taking obvious steps to eradicate the cancer of corruption in their own jurisdiction,” Justice Andrew Macrae was quoted as saying by the SCMP before the two accused were jailed.
When China’s President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012 he launched an anti-corruption campaign, mainly targeting top-level government officials.
Accusations against Hui and Kwok surfaced in 2008 when an anonymous letter to the region’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) claimed Kwok gave millions of dollars in bribes to Hui to be an “eye and ear” in the government. ICAC arrested and charged the two in 2012. The trial began in May this year.