Hong Kong court grants bail to disgraced former leader Tsang

HONG KONG, April 24 (Reuters) - A Hong Kong court on Monday

granted bail to former leader Donald Tsang, who was jailed in

February for 20 months for misconduct in public office, the

broadcaster RTHK reported.

Tsang, wearing his signature bow-tie, was transferred to

court from hospital, where he had been taken from the city's

Stanley Prison this month after complaining of breathing

problems, RTHK said.

The devout Catholic is the most senior city official to

serve time behind bars, bringing an ignominious end to what had

been a long and distinguished career, before and after the 1997

handover of the former British colony to Chinese rule.

A nine-person jury ruled in February that Tsang had

deliberately concealed private rental negotiations with property

tycoon Bill Wong Cho-bau while his cabinet discussed and

approved a digital broadcasting licence for a now defunct radio

company, Wave Media, in which Wong was a major shareholder.

Tsang, 72, had denied graft and pleaded not guilty.

Jurors failed to return a majority verdict for another

charge related to bribery, with a re-trial tentatively set for

September.

(Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Robert Birsel)