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Hong Kong district council elections 2015

Waiter accuses Democratic Party of corrupt offerings during last year’s District Council elections

Cheng Wing Kin, on trial for eight counts of corrupt conduct, says he was commissioned by mainland official when he found links between the pan-democrats and localist party, Youngspiration

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 12:18am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 12:18am

The Democratic Party has dismissed allegations of corruption brought against it by a waiter claiming to have been working on behalf of a mainland official.

Cheng Wing-kin, a self-proclaimed government ­supporter on trial for corrupt conduct, told the District Court yesterday that the Democratic Party offered localist group Youngspiration some HK$800,000 to not run in the same districts during last year’s District Council elections.

Mainland Chinese ‘boss’ told Hong Kong waiter to rig 2015 district council elections, court told in HK$810,000 bribery case

He claimed that Leos Lee Man-ho, from Cheung Sha Wan Community Establishment Power, had revealed the offer between the two parties to him while Cheng was researching a TV show.

Cheng said he had pitched the TV show, aimed at examining the connection between the then emerging localist camps and the pan-democrats, to an investor named “Mr Li” – claimed to be from the Beijing’s United Front Work Department.

During the process, the waiter said he suspected a close link ­between the Democratic Party and Youngspiration.

“Sometimes they [Youngspiration] claimed they would run in the electorates in which the Democratic Party would run, and sometimes they claimed they wouldn’t,” Cheng said.

In a statement, the Democratic Party dismissed the waiter’s claims as lies and said it had never offered proceeds to any groups to cheat in last year’s elections.

“This sort of accusation is ­absolutely false and wholly fabricated,” the statement said.

Cheng, 31, is currently on trial for eight counts of engaging in corrupt conduct during an election. He is accused of offering at least HK$810,000 to eight people – mostly localist leaders, including Youngspiration’s Sixtus Leung Chung-hang – between July and September last year, either to ask them to run in the election in a list of designated districts or to refer other candidates to him.

He is also accused of conspiring to cheat the polls with co-defendants Ku Ka-ho, 32, and Chan Kin-loong, 37. The hearing continues before judge Pang Chung-ping today.