Hong Kong's former chief secretary Rafael Hui
Hong Kong's former chief secretary Rafael Hui leaves during a lunch break at the High Court in Hong Kong.Reuters

Rafael Hui, the Hong Kong government's chief secretary from June 2005 to June 2007, has been found guilty of accepting bribes from the city's top property developer Sun Hung Kai Properties.

In the biggest graft trial in Hong Kong's history, Hui was found guilty of three counts of misconduct in public office and two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct.

He allegedly received HK$8.5m ($1.1m, £704,000, €893,000) in bribes from Sun Hung Kai Properties, and was facing eight charges in all.

Sun Hung Kai Properties co-chairman Raymond Kwok was earlier cleared of all charges, but his brother and fellow co-chairman Thomas Kwok was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, while cleared of two other charges.

Count one: Misconduct in a public office

Defendant: Rafael Hui

Details: Prosecution alleged Hui failed to disclose acceptance of a HK$2.4m unsecured loan; rent-free use of two luxury units and his negotiation of consultancy agreement with Sun Hung Kai Properties while he was managing director of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority.

Verdict: Guilty

Count two: Conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office

Defendants: Rafael Hui, Thomas Kwok

Details: Prosecution alleged Hui received HK$5m from Thomas Kwok, before he took up the No 2 government office in June 2005, without reasonable excuse, and was or remained favourably disposed to SHKP.

Verdict: Rafael Hui - Not Guilty; Thomas Kwok - Not Guilty

Count three: Conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office

Defendants: Rafael Hui, Raymond Kwok

Details: Prosecution alleged Hui received HK$4.125m from Kwok, before he took up the No 2 government office in June 2005, without reasonable excuse, and was or remained favourably disposed to SHKP.

Verdict: Rafael Hui - Not Guilty; Raymond Kwok - Not Guilty

Count four: Furnishing false information

Defendants: Rafael Hui, Raymond Kwok

Details: Prosecution alleged the pair furnished information on an invoice dishonestly stating a HK$4.125m bribe as a bonus.

Verdict: Rafael Hui - Not Guilty; Raymond Kwok - Not Guilty

Count five: Conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office

Defendants: Rafael Hui, Thomas Kwok, Raymond Kwok, Thomas Chan, Francis Kwan

Details: Prosecution alleged the Kwok brothers transferred HK$8.5m worth of bribery payments to Rafael Hui in the months leading up to his appointment as chief secretary of Hong Kong in order for him to be Sun Hung Kai Properties' eyes and ears in government. A part of the alleged bribe was paid on the same day he took the appointment oath before chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. The bribes were allegedly funneled via SHKP executive director Thomas Chan Kui-yuen and ex-stock exchange official Francis Kwan Hung-sang.

Verdict: Raymond Kwok - Not Guilty; remaining are Guilty

Count six: Misconduct in public office

Defendant: Rafael Hui

Details: Prosecution allegedl Hui concealed from government the provision and annual extensions of an unsecured HK$3m loan granted by a subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties when he was chief secretary.

Verdict: Guilty

Count seven: Conspiracy to offer an advantage to a public servant

Rafael Hui, Thomas Kwok, Raymond Kwok, Thomas Chan, Francis Kwan

Details: Prosecution alleged Thomas Kwok and Raymond Kwok allegedly bribed Hui, a non-official member of the Executive Council, with HK$11.182m between 2007 and 2009, for him to be or remain favourably disposed to Sun Hung Kai Properties. The alleged bribes were funnelled via Thomas Chan and Francis Kwan.

Verdict: Rafael Hui - Guilty; Raymond and Thomas Kwok - Not Guilty; Thomas Chan - Guilty; Francis Kwan - Guilty

Count eight: Misconduct in public office

Defendants: Rafael Hui

Details: Prosecution alleged Rafael Hui concealed from the government the HK$11.182m worth of bribes he allegedly received from the Kwoks, Chan and Kwan between 2007 and 2009.

Verdict: Guilty


Source: South China Morning Post

In addition, Sun Hung Kai executive Thomas Chan and businessman Francis Kwan were found guilty of two charges of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and conspiracy to offer an advantage to a public servant.

Kwok and Hui, who had been on bail, have been remanded in custody until 22 December when the court will reconvene to hand down sentence. They are facing up to seven years' imprisonment.

The Kwok brothers are running Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong's second-largest property developer, and they rank third among Hong Kong billionaires with a net worth of $14.4bn, according to Forbes' latest rich list.

The case attracted widespread attention in Hong Kong, where illegal tie-ups between government officials and business magnets have always been a concern.

The former British colony's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which arrested the people in 2012, was created by the colonial government, and has been facing criticism over its ineffectiveness to tackle high-profile cases.

Shares of Sun Hung Kai Properties were suspended just before the verdicts were announced. They had risen more than 1% on 19 December.