An abode claimant yesterday told a judge her request to stay with her family was rejected by an immigration officer when she was interviewed while pregnant in October 1998. Chan Pik-shan, 31, told Mr Justice Michael Hartmann in the Court of First Instance how she lodged the request, which would prove she qualifies to stay under the landmark abode judgment handed down in the Court of Final Appeal on January 10, 2001. The cases of 220 applicants have been remitted by the top court for determination of the facts of their cases, mainly over whether they had lodged abode claims and whether there were records of it. Ms Chan and 38 others were the first batch of claimants to testify before the court. The mainlanders were among 5,114 abode seekers involved in the top court's ruling in January 2001 that ruled against most of the claimants. Questioned by barrister Gladys Li SC, Ms Chan said she was pregnant when she came to Hong Kong with a tour group on June 14, 1998, and was supposed to return to Shenzhen a week later. But she decided to overstay because she wanted to give birth in Hong Kong. On October 31, 1998, her husband accompanied her to the Immigration Department, where she was asked to fill in a form. She told the immigration officer she wanted to stay but her request was turned down. Ms Chan said she was later told to copy words from a card to the effect that she admitted it was wrong to overstay and was willing to return to the mainland after giving birth. When cross-examined by barrister Joseph Fok SC, for the government, Ms Chan said she was not forced or threatened in any way to fill in the form. She said she had not made any abode claim before a magistrate when being prosecuted for breach of condition of stay, for which she was fined $1,000. Immigration officer Chan Leung-yuk told the court yesterday the department had not issued any written direction but only oral instructions as to how to handle mainlanders filing abode claims around July 1997. The trial continues.