Duo wanted by ICAC for allegedly breaching ECICO by inciting others to cast blank votes and not to vote at LegCo Election
A Magistrate today (November 29) issued warrants for the arrest of two persons, who are wanted by the ICAC for allegedly breaching Section 27A of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance (ECICO) by “engaging in illegal conduct of inciting another person not to vote, or to cast invalid vote, by activity in public during election period”.
Hui Chi-fung and Yau Man-chun had allegedly breached Section 27A of the ECICO, between October 30 and November 29, 2021, during the election period of the 2021 Legislative Council General Election (the LegCo Election) by inciting members of the public to cast blank votes and not to vote at the LegCo Election by activity in public, namely displaying posts on their respective social media pages.
The ICAC had earlier probed into the relevant posts. In accordance with established procedures, the findings of the investigation were forwarded to the Department of Justice for legal advice, which considered that there was sufficient evidence to institute prosecution against the duo. As the duo had already left Hong Kong, warrants for the arrest of them were issued by a Magistrates’ Court this morning upon the applications made by the ICAC.
Hui and Yau, both aged 39, respectively face four and eight charges, all contrary to Section 27A of the ECICO.
The LegCo Election was open for nominations from October 30. According to the ECICO, the period between that day and the polling day (December 19) is defined as the “election period” of the election. The ECICO stipulates that “activity in public” includes any form of communication to the public, and the distribution or dissemination of any matter to the public. The ECICO applies to all conduct concerning an election, whether the conduct is engaged in within Hong Kong or elsewhere. Any person who commits this offence is liable on conviction to a maximum penalty of a three-year imprisonment and a fine of $200,000.
The ICAC urges members of the public to abide by the law, and not to engage in making illegal appeals or repost any unlawful contents in order to uphold a fair and clean election. The Commission will continue to take resolute enforcement actions to combat conduct manipulating and sabotaging the election to ensure that it will be held in a fair and just manner.