Hong Kong Businessman Seeks Leniency In US Bribery Case

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Defense attorneys urged a U.S. judge Tuesday to grant leniency to a prominent Hong Kong businessman who was found guilty last year of bribing the presidents of two African nations.

Dr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho, who is also an ophthalmologist and former home affairs secretary in Hong Kong, was convicted in December of paying bribes to the presidents of Chad and Uganda in a bid to secure oil rights for a conglomerate known as CEFC China Energy. Prosecutors said he used his position running that company’s think tank to line the pockets of government officials as the oil and gas company sought to expand its business around the world.

Ho was tried in New York because a number of relevant meetings and wire transfers related to the payments occurred in Manhattan. The case attracted international media attention and involved several former presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.

Ho’s defense team did not dispute the payments, including $2 million secreted in gift boxes delivered to the president of Chad in 2014, but insisted the transactions were charitable donations.

Read the original article here: washingtonpost.com

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