A Legislative Council panel has cleared Civic Party lawmakers Alan Leong Kah-kit and Claudia Mo Man-ching of wrongdoing in relation to collection of donations from Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai.
Legco’s Committee on Members’ Interests has dismissed complaints against Leong and Mo, Ming Pao Daily News reported.
As for another lawmaker, James To Kun-sun, who had also faced allegations of improper conduct with regard to donations, there were differences among the panel members.
However, it was decided that the matter doesn’t warrant further investigation, based on the information available as of now.
Committee chairman Ip Kwok-him said the panel has not found any records of deposits into To’s bank accounts that matched with the alleged HK$500,000 that Lai is said to have donated to the lawmaker.
The committee requested To to provide a written statement with Lai’s signature to prove that the latter did not make any donations to the legislator.
In response, To said that he feels that it is inappropriate to contact Lai at this stage.
However, he reiterated that he did not receive HK$500,000 from Jimmy Lai, as alleged.
The committee’s six members were divided on the issue of proceeding with an investigation into To. In the end, Ip exercised an option as the committee chairman to vote against any follow-up action.
Ip said the committee could look into the situation again if there is new evidence or information.
The committee’s vice chairperson Emily Lau said it would be unfair to say the committee let To off the hook, as all the decisions made were based on evidence.
Alan Leong, meanwhile, said the ruling proved his innocence. He said he hopes the bad-mouthing and media speculation that he has been subject to will now end.
In related news, Jimmy Lai said he would be willing to testify before the committee regarding donation-related complaints against two other lawmakers, Lee Cheuk-yan and Leung Kwok-hung, next month if needed.
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