Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen has said the legislature maintains its decision to recover in full the salaries and expense advances paid to two ousted lawmakers. The LegCo will take legal action against them in order to recover the money, after a potential final appeal by the duo has filed and concluded.
Andrew Leung said Younspiration’s Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching have yet to pay back their salaries and advanced operation expenses of HK$1.86 million.
The High Court’s Court of Appeal on Monday rejected the duo’s request to go to the Court of Final Appeal to overturn the court’s decision to disqualify them from the legislature. But they said they would be appealing to the Court of Final Appeal directly.
Andrew Leung said after the ruling that the the Legislative Council Commission still plans to recover the full amount. The Commission is a body which decides on administrative matters – it is formed of nine pro-Beijing camp lawmakers, including Leung, and four pro-democracy camp lawmakers.
“The Commission will commence the recovery action in court after the conclusion of the CFA [Court of Final Appeal] legal proceedings,” he said.
Leung said there were enough grounds for the recovery action on the basis of legal advice received.
No support for other lawmakers
Leung also said the legislature will not pay for the legal costs of three other lawmakers being challenged in court by the government.
Lawmakers “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu Chung-yim, three of the four lawmakers challenged by the government to disqualify them, requested that LegCo pay the legal costs of their legal proceedings.
Andrew Leung said that whether the three are officially lawmakers, who have completed their oaths of office, is a matter for the court. The Commission’s prevailing policy is that legal costs of lawmakers would only be potentially covered by LegCo if the judicial proceedings arose from their discharge of LegCo duties, he said.
“As the three members are not discharging their LegCo duties in the present case, after discussion and voting, the Commission decided not to accede to the members’ requests,” he said.
Leung said he has no opinion as to whether the challenged lawmakers had been properly sworn in or not.
“It’s the court [which has] to decide whether they have properly sworn in or not,” he said, adding that he cannot speak on behalf of the government as to how they may treat lawmakers whose status were in question.
Lau, Leung, and Nathan Law Kwun-chung have applied for legal aid. They have no lawyers representing them yet. Yiu will be represented by Senior Counsel Audrey Eu Yuet-mee.