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Editorial﹕Prevention of CE bribery still necessary after Tsang cleared

【明報專訊】FORMER Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam‑kuen has won his final appeal against his conviction of criminal misconduct in public office. The Court of Final Appeal quashed Tsang's conviction and sentence and ordered that there should be no retrial. The top court gave this ruling on technical grounds, saying the trial judge had failed to give the jurors adequate directions. While the ruling marks the official conclusion of Tsang's case, the authorities have yet to address the regulatory problem concerning senior officials' conflicts of interest as revealed in Tsang's acceptance of hospitality from tycoons during his tenure. Public officers need to be whiter than white and avoid situations that may invite suspicion as much as possible. Whenever they face a conflict of interest, they must disclose it clearly. The unique constitutional status of the chief executive should not be an obstacle to monitoring the leader's integrity. The current Prevention of Bribery Ordinance falls short of governing the conduct of the chief executive. The legal loophole concerned must be plugged as soon as possible.

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