Hong Kong’s anti-corruption body has confirmed it will investigate bribery allegations made by legislator Leung Kwok-hung.
In a statement, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said it was “aware of an open allegation” concerning the “offering of a bribe for him to vote for the political reform package”. It added the allegation was “serious in nature” and caused “significant public concern”.
Last week Leung, also known as “Long Hair”, claimed on commercial radio that a middleman offered him $100m to vote for the Government’s political proposals. However, he later admitted that he made up the $100m figure because it would have been easier for the media to report.
The ICAC statement comes a day after Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung openly accused the lawmaker of “making up” the story and called on him to report the case to the ICAC.
Leung subsequently defended his decision of not reporting to the ICAC, citing that he did not know the “middleman” who approached and offered him money to support the political reform bill.
The ICAC is a Hong Kong government agency tasked with fighting corruption. It reports directly to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
It is rare that the ICAC would issue a public statement on high-profile investigations. It refused to comment as to whether specific complaints prompted it to act.
Apple Daily reported Monday that the ICAC has contacted Leung Kwok-hung and People Power legislator Chan Wai-yip. Leung admitted that the ICAC has approached him, but did not provide further comments as he is restricted by Hong Kong law to disclose information related to ICAC investigations.