COURTS
image

Leung Chun-ying

Leung Kwok-hung, Albert Ho told to pay CY's legal costs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 4:14am

The Court of Final Appeal yesterday ordered two lawmakers to pay the legal costs incurred by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying during their unsuccessful legal challenge to his election.

"Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, chairman of the League of Social Democrats, and Albert Ho Chun-yan, of the Democratic Party, were ordered to pay costs after the highest court in November disallowed them to appeal against a lower court ruling.

The two said the chief executive was not duly elected because he had engaged in "illegal conduct" when he made dishonest statements about illegal structures in his homes before election day. His rival, Henry Tang Ying-yen, was the front runner in the race until it was revealed a month before the March 25 poll that his properties had illegal structures. Ho came third in the poll.

The top court ruled that the challenges, in the form of an election petition and judicial review, were "not reasonably arguable and that such challenges must therefore be brought to an end".

Ho anticipated he would have to pay more than HK$300,000. He said his party would help him raise money to foot the bill.

Leung said he probably could not afford to pay the costs and might lose his seat in the legislature if he was declared bankrupt.

But he remained defiant: "Mr Leung Chun-ying is my political enemy. I will not go to beg him to be more lenient with me."

He said the case demonstrated the absurdity of the political system. "The legislature is dominated by pro-Beijing members and we failed to initiate impeachment proceedings against the chief executive," said Leung.

"When we tried the legal channel, [Leung Chun-ying] declined to tell the truth in court and only after the court hearing had ended did he issue some statements."