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Hong Kong courts

Anti-Occupy campaigner Leticia Lee appears in Hong Kong court to hear corrupt election conduct charge. Crowd outside demands money back

Well-known pro-Beijing campaigner has been accused of using more than HK$20,000 on 2016 election campaign that she should have donated to charity

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 12:05pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 5:46pm

Detractors of a well-known pro-Beijing campaigner have demanded she pay back her debts immediately after she was granted bail at a Hong Kong court over corrupt election conduct involving more than HK$20,000 (US$2,500).

There were chaotic scenes outside Sha Tin Court as Leticia Lee See-yin left the building on Friday.

“Pay back my money, Lee See-yin,” one woman shouted.

Lee, 54, was charged by the city’s graftbuster, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), on Wednesday with engaging in corrupt conduct during a Legislative Council election in 2016.

Lee made her first appearance at court on Friday. She was not required to make a plea.

“Understood,” she said, after being read the charge.

Acting Principal Magistrate Wong Sze-lai granted bail of HK$5,000 and told Lee not to interfere with any of the 12 prosecution witnesses.

Lee contested the New Territories East constituency in 2016.

The ICAC said she had breached the Election (Corruption and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, which required candidates not to spend donations from unknown sources on election expenses. Instead, they are bound to donate it to charities.

Lee, according to the charge, received a string of donations from nine people who only identified themselves by their nicknames between July 24 and November 8, 2016.

She failed to legally deal with a total sum of HK$22,530, the ICAC said.

Dressed in pink, Lee was accompanied by her husband and a legal team. Her presence drew a crowd and required police officers to help segregate her from her detractors.

Wong adjourned the case to November 23 to give Lee time to seek legal advice.

Lee made a name for herself in 2012, when she led the Parents’ Association in support of the government’s plan to launch national education in secondary schools. She became more well-known after opposing the Occupy movement in 2014.

Lee was the former convenor of Justice Alliance, a pro-establishment group, and the founder of pro-police group, the Alliance in Support of Our Police Force.