Ex-lawmaker charged with offering bribe to poll rival

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 December, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 December, 2004, 12:00am

Ex-legislator Lau Ping-cheung was arrested by the ICAC yesterday and charged with offering a favour to a rival candidate to persuade him not to stand in September's Legislative Council elections.

Lau is accused of having offered to help the other candidate develop his mainland business in return for not taking part in the election for the architectural, surveying and planning constituency, which Lau represented until his defeat in the polls.

The 53-year-old quantity surveyor has been released on bail to appear in the Eastern Court tomorrow.

'The alleged favour was said to consist of the facilitation of the development of the prospective candidate's surveying practice through Lau's knowledge of business contacts in Hong Kong and the mainland,' a spokesman for the Independent Commission Against Corruption said last night.

It is understood that no money or valuables changed hands.

Sources have identified the other candidate as Kenneth Chan Jor-kin, who finished second in the election with 649 votes, ahead of Lau, who polled 616. Patrick Lau Sau-shing won with 1,130 votes.

Lau Ping-cheung was deputy chairman of Legco's panel on planning, lands and works before his defeat.

He was also the president of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors between 1996 and 1997.

In a previous case involving a lawmaker, Gilbert Leung Kam-ho was jailed for three years in 1993 for trying to bribe two regional councillors to vote for him in the 1991 Legislative Council elections.