Lawmakers and grassroots representatives will be allowed to read a confidential document that villagers regard as key to their defeat in a legal battle over rural elections. The decision was revealed yesterday after Secretary for Home Affairs Lam Woon-kwong was repeatedly questioned by legislators at a Legco panel meeting. At the centre of the controversy was a document submitted by government lawyers during a lawsuit over the system of electing rural representatives. The Court of Final Appeal ruled in December that the government-backed system, which only recognised indigenous residents' right to vote and stand as candidates, breached the Bill of Rights and Sex Discrimination Ordinance. It is understood the document does not classify rural elections as the 'lawful, traditional rights and interests of indigenous residents'. Villagers see the document as a crucial factor for their defeat and fear the Government betrayed the Heung Yee Kuk, which represents indigenous residents. Legislator Lau Wong-fat, also the kuk's chairman, said villagers were angry because the Government had repeatedly rejected its call to reveal the document. Mr Lam said the Government was willing to open the document to the kuk and legislators but not to the public. He said talks with the kuk on reforming rural elections were ongoing and the Government would not seek Beijing's reinterpretation of the Basic Law on the court ruling.