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University of Hong Kong chief requests lawyer at council talks over ‘allegations’

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University of Hong Kong president requests legal representation in now-cancelled meeting with governing council over ‘extremely serious allegations’

HKU vice-chancellor Xiang Zhang in statement hits out at ‘rumour-mongers’ and those he says are personally targeting him and schoolAccusations involve conduct and handling of fundsEducation in Hong KongLo Hoi-yingandJeffie LamPublished: 11:44am, 3 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

The president of Hong Kong’s top university on Tuesday requested for legal representation in a special meeting with the school’s governing body centred on what he called “extremely serious accusations” against his conduct and handling of donations.

In a statement issued in the early hours of Tuesday, Xiang Zhang, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), also confirmed he had requested to postpone the talk originally set for the afternoon, citing a one-day notice as being insufficient for preparation.

A source familiar with the matter later said the meeting was called off due to an unfulfilled quorum as some council members were out of town.

Zhang accused “rumour-mongers” of leaking confidential HKU information, taking these out of context and twisting the truth in a manner he described as targeting him personally and the school.

“I believe these accusations are deliberate and organised acts. As the allegations might involve criminal acts and cause extremely serious defamation to me, I have decided to hire a lawyer and seek legal advice,” he wrote.

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