Hong Kong businessman gets 3 years in prison for bribery

NEW YORK (AP) — A prominent Hong Kong businessman has been sentenced to three years in prison after he was convicted of paying bribes to the presidents of two African countries in a United Nations-linked case.

U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska sentenced Dr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho, once Hong Kong’s home affairs secretary, on Monday.

Ho was convicted in December of paying bribes to the presidents of Chad and Uganda in a scheme to secure oil rights for an energy conglomerate.

Lawyers for Ho insisted at trial that payments to the presidents were legitimate charitable donations. The payments included $2 million in gift boxes delivered to Chad’s president in 2014.

Prosecutors had recommended Ho serve five years.

Defense lawyers said his 16 months behind bars as a model inmate were enough.

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