Hong Kong top official Mak Chai-kwong charged with fraud

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (R) watches his cabinet members as they are sworn in during an inauguration ceremony in Hong Kong, 01 Jul 2012 Mak Chai-kwong was only sworn to the new government of CY Leung in July

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Hong Kong's anti-corruption agency says it has charged a former top official with fraud.

Mak Chai-kwong, the former development secretary, conspired with an official in a housing allowances fraud worth HK$700,000 ($90,300; £56,000), it said.

The men are accused of concealing financial interests in flats they rented from each other's wives.

Mr Mak resigned when he was arrested in July, less than two weeks after he began his term.

The scandal has damaged the credibility of new Chief Executive CY Leung, who chose Mr Mak to be his development secretary, said the BBC's Juliana Liu in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said Mr Mak and Tsang King-man, assistant director of the Highways Department, had "conspired together to defraud the Hong Kong Government" between 1985 and 1990.

It said the two also faced charges for breaching the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

Mr Mak has not made any comment since his arrest, but he has previously denied any wrongdoing.

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