Election claims case set for trial

A WOULD-BE district board candidate who accused two rivals of deceiving voters is himself facing a charge of publishing a false statement attacking the pair.

Fung Chan-ki, 41, protested to a returning officer after seeing that two of his rivals had swapped their nomination papers on August 15 last year, magistrate Colin Mackintosh was informed at Tsuen Wan Court.

Fung, a financial consultant, was contesting the Lei Muk constituency of the Kwai Tsing District Board.

Lam Chiu-lun, originally a candidate for Lei Shu, and Chan Yuen-sum, a candidate for Lei Muk, swapped the seats they intended to contest and their nomination papers at the last minute before they were registered.

They said they knew each other's nominators would still support them.

Mr Lam and Mr Chan later obtained statutory declarations from 14 of each other's 15 nominators that they were supported.

On August 22 the returning officer formally informed Mr Lam and Mr Chan their candidatures were valid.

Prosecutor Jackson Poon informed the magistrate that Fung posted a 'statement of regret' at the Lei Muk Shu Estate on August 25 saying his two opponents had deceived voters, nominators and the democratic system.

Mr Poon informed Mr Mackintosh that the defendant was aware the returning officer had accepted their candidatures but still published a false statement to discredit his rivals.

Fung was later disqualified from the polls.

Mr Lam won in Lei Muk constituency and Mr Chan in Lei Shu constituency in last September's district board election.

Fung pleads not guilty to a charge of publishing a false statement concerning a candidate. He is now on $10,000 bail.

Magistrate Colin Mackintosh fixed the trial date for July 10.