Veteran lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung faces a court case after allegedly failing to declare a HK$250,000 donation from a media tycoon to the Legislative Council.
Leung accepted the payment from Jimmy Lai Chee-ying on May 22, 2012. He was arrested on June 23 last year after failing to declare the transaction.
The District Court made the ruling on Monday after judge Alex Lee Wan-tang allowed documents recording the lawmaker’s past declarations and council meeting participation to be used as evidence. Prosecutors said records showed Leung was aware that he was legally required to register the payment and make it known during meetings. Yet he deliberately failed to do so.
Legislative Council rules state new lawmakers must register all paid donations, sponsorships and material benefits within 14 days of sitting on the council, while re-elected members must do so by the first meeting.
The 60-year-old lawmaker earlier pleaded not guilty to one count of misconduct in public office.
Leung opened his defence case in court on Tuesday but chose not to speak. Instead, his lawyer called League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen to give evidence.
Ng said the league didn’t have a bank account in 2012, so they put the donation in Leung’s account first. Ng emphasised that the donation was not used for his or Leung’s personal purposes.
“We decided to use the donation for the expenditures in Kowloon East and New Territories East districts, and preparation for the Legco election in September, 2012. I also don’t think the league has any close relations with the donor Lai,” Ng said.
The trial continues.