A miniature video camera, hidden in a handbag, filmed elderly voters lining up for free mooncakes during an election campaign, a court heard yesterday. But cheap mooncakes were not enough of an incentive to buy votes, the High Court was told. Lawyer Vivian Chih Wan-wan was convicted in Western Court on November 21 last year of bribing elderly voters with mooncakes. Gerard McCoy, defending, argued that handing out free mooncakes 'would not corrupt the minds of the elector'. Mr McCoy likened it to 'tea and a sandwich' given by politicians in other countries. 'It is difficult to keep a straight face about this case,' he said. An 'expert witness' - a mooncake baker - had testified before magistrate Peter White that he produced 'Rolls-Royce quality' mooncakes which sold for $26. But he told the magistrate the cakes handed out in Ap Lei Chau on September 17, last year, were 'perhaps from China or Macau' and were of 'cheaper quality'. No value was assigned to the inferior quality cakes. The mooncake giveaway took place one day before the district board elections. Chih, a Central and Western District Board member between 1991 and 1995, lost the election by 176 votes to Liberal Party rival Andrew Cheng Kar-foo. A polling agent of Mr Cheng's alerted the ICAC to the mooncake handouts. Chih and her nominee Fung Sai-mui, 59, were convicted on two counts of bribing elderly residents of the Ap Lei Chau Estate. Chih was also convicted of failing to declare election expenses and donations. She was fined $15,000 and Fung $10,000. No one receiving the mooncakes had to prove they were voting the next day or pledge allegiance to Chih, Mr McCoy argued. The only requirement for the free treat was to be aged 60 or over and to stand in line. 'No attempt was made to recruit voters. There was no exchange of cakes for votes,' Mr McCoy said. They were all elderly people with a few younger ones who were helping prop them up, he said. The appeal continues today before Mr Justice Thomas Gall.