[Updated with the decision to appeal the court verdict]
Jackson Chang, the former president of Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), said he feels like his career “is wrecked” after he was handed a two-year jail term for breach of secrecy and inexact asset declaration by the Court of First Instance last Friday.
His remarks were published in a news report by Hong Kong weekly magazine East Week this week, the first public remarks he has made about his case since 2018.
The local court also ruled last Friday that Chang, who faced a number of charges in regards to the granting of residency permits through the investment scheme under IPIM, was acquitted of charges for power abuse, corruption and criminal association.
Speaking with East Week, the former official, who has been released under bail, said: “The verdict has cleared my name to a certain extent but I’m still considering whether I will appeal to the verdict.”
“Frankly, I feel like my career is wrecked and my family is messed up after being detained in prison,” he said.
[The defence team of the former government official later confirmed to TDM Radio they would appeal the decision]
Chang has been removed from his position as the head of IPIM since 2018, when the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) published a report criticising the former and current officials of IPIM, including Chang, for their handling in the investment residency schemes overseen by the department.
The former president had then been placed in pre-trial detention since July 2019, and he only walked free from the prison last Friday after the court allowed him to pay MOP100,000 (US$12,500) in bail while awaiting for further appeal.
This means Chang will only return to prison for another seven months, provided that he was in detention for more than a year, if he opts for not appealing to the verdict, or if his appeal is not successful.