HONG KONG (AP) - A Hong Kong court sentenced a billionaire property developer Tuesday to five years in prison for corruption after a high-profile trial that galvanized public anger over the city's elite.
HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong court sentenced a billionaire property developer Tuesday to five years in prison for corruption after a high-profile trial that galvanized public anger over the city's elite.
The city's Justice Department said the High Court sentenced Thomas Kwok after finding him guilty of conspiracy for making HK$8.5 million ($1.1 million) in payments to city official Rafael Hui. The court also fined Kwok HK$500,000 ($64,000).
The court sentenced Hui to 7 ½ years in prison after convicting him of misconduct and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, the Justice Department said. At the time of the offenses, Hui was Hong Kong's No. 2 public official.
Kwok and his brother are joint chairmen of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. and have overseen the construction of some of the city's landmark buildings.
Prosecutors alleged that the developers gave bribes in exchange for lucrative information on pending land sales. They later slightly revised the charges, dropping the bribery charge against brother Raymond Kwok.
The corruption scandal shocked the southern Chinese financial center, where residents have traditionally revered the city's tycoons. But widening inequality, much of it linked to skyrocketing housing costs in the densely populated city, means that has given way in recent years to public anger at the billionaire class.
Two middlemen, Thomas Chan and Francis Kwan, were found guilty of conspiracy charges. The High Court sentenced Chan to six years in prison and Kwan to five years, the Justice Department said.