Former candidate in Hong Kong district council election pleads guilty in case of false claims in ads

Liu Siu-fai printed banners and leaflets containing words of support from building owners without their consent

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 10:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 10:32pm

An independent Hong Kong candidate who was defeated in a district council poll in 2015 has admitted in court that he made a false claim in some published election advertisements.

Liu Siu-fai, 35, pleaded guilty at the West Kowloon Magistracy on Wednesday to six counts of engaging in illegal conduct to publish an election ad that included a false claim of support at polls, contrary to the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance.

Liu, an election candidate for the Tsim Sha Tsui Central constituency in the Yau Tsim Mong District in 2015, was charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday.

Acting principal magistrate So Wai-tak adjourned the case to July 5 for sentencing, pending background and community service order reports.

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The court heard that the defendant, a merchant, had published five banners on October 22, 2015. These banners said that the incorporated owners of five buildings in the constituency “fully supported” Liu in his election bid.

The court also heard that he later published 1,000 leaflets on November 20, 2015 – these were printed with his name and also included the words “full support” from the incorporated owners of five buildings in the constituency.

These latter owners include four of the five mentioned in the banner case. The building owners later confirmed that they did not discuss or consent to allowing Liu to include their names in the ads.

Liu was remanded in the custody of the Correctional Services Department.

In the district council election held on November 22, 2015, he was defeated by his only rival Kwan Sau-ling from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Liu also joined the Yau Tsim Mong district council race for the Tsim Sha Tsui East constituency in 2011, as a candidate from the People Power group. He ran against four others including Kwan, who also won that election.