Hong Kong leader apologises over links with tycoons

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang reacts as he attends a question and answer session at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong Thursday, March. 1, 2012 Mr Tsang was speaking in a session of Hong Kong's legislative council

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang has apologised for undermining public confidence after an investigation was launched into his links with tycoons.

Mr Tsang said he would co-operate with a probe by an anti-corruption commission. He denies any wrongdoing.

He has been criticised for accepting invitations to use private jets and yachts belonging to businessmen with commercial interests in Hong Kong.

Mr Tsang was speaking in a session of Hong Kong's legislative council.

"The series of incidents have caused concerns from the public, media, lawmakers and civil servants, and shaken public confidence in the government. I hereby solemnly apologise to the public," he said.

Reports say that Mr Tsang appeared emotional during his address. But his speech was still interrupted by calls for his resignation, the AFP news agency reports.

The apology comes just two weeks after the man widely expected to succeed him as leader, Henry Tang, became engulfed in a scandal over an illegally-built underground basement in one of his villas.

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