Pro-democracy legislator “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung said he is psychologically prepared that he might be found guilty of misconduct in public office for allegedly accepting HK$250,000 donation from media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying without reporting it to the Legislative Council, as he stressed that he does not fear political persecution, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The trial at the regional magistrates’ court in Wan Chai, which began on Monday, is expected to last ten days, with eight to ten witnesses set to testify. Leung is represented by veteran democracy fighter Martin Lee Chu-ming.
The prosecution pointed out that in April 2012, Jimmy Lai issued a cheque for HK$9.5 million to his assistant Mark Simon, who subsequently issued four cashier orders with four political parties as beneficiaries. Leung’s League of Social Democrats (LSD) was issued HK$1 million.
Simon was understood to have taken back the cashier order of HK$1 million from LSD, and split the amount into three, for Leung (HK$250,000), Andrew To Kwan-hang (HK$250,000) and LSD (HK$500,000).
Leung was said to have transferred his share of HK$250,000 to the bank account of his Legco accountant Tong Yuen-ching between May 24 and 31, 2012.
On January 22, 2014, Leung voted in a motion by fellow lawmaker Alan Leong on “safeguarding editorial independence and autonomy”, which pertained to commercial firms pulling out advertisement orders from Jimmy Lai’s Apple Daily and other newspapers due to political pressure, without disclosing the HK$250,000 donation he had received.
The prosecution alleged that Leung deprived the public of the right to be informed about the donation and undermined the public’s confidence in the legislators.
It said that although Legco held 12 meetings to investigate the two sums of HK$500,000 Leung received from Jimmy Lai between 2014 and 2015, Leung never mentioned the HK$250,000 donation.
Outside the court, Leung was cheered by his supporters, including lawmakers Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen and former Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu.
Also, more than a dozen representatives from the pro-establishment camp were at the scene, chanting slogans and urging that Leung be thrown in jail.
Police officers had to intervene when the group clashed with Leung and his supporters.
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