A court has handed pro-Beijing activist Leticia Lee a bind-over order over an election corruption case. The HK$2,000 order requires her to maintain good behaviour for 18 months.

Lee, 54, was charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) last October with engaging in corrupt conduct during a 2016 election after she failed to dispose of nine donations in accordance with electoral law.

At the Sha Tin Magistrates’ Courts on Monday, Lee agreed with the prosecution over the facts of the case. The prosecution decided to offer no evidence against her.

Leticia Lee and her husband.

Outside court, Lee thanked her husband, legal team, supporters, and Jesus.

“This case showed I have no concealment and no dishonesty,” she said.

She said she did not have enough time to handle the HK$770,000 in donations she received, and added that those who wished to run in elections should be very careful in handling donations.

At a hearing last November, senior counsel Cheng Huan, who represented Lee, had said that he would raise challenges at the trial, since Lee was not given a caution by ICAC investigators over her written statement.

Cheng also said the ICAC did not take statements from the Lee’s donors.

Leticia Lee’s supporters.

Lee, who often appears at pro-government protests, ran in the 2016 Legislative Council election in the New Territories East constituency. She gained 2,938 votes but lost the race.

She was accused of receiving nine election donations totalling HK$22,530 – each exceeding HK$1,000 – from donors whose names or addresses she did not know. She failed to ensure that such donations were handed by a charitable institution or trust, rather than used for personal election expenses.

Under section 19(2) of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, the candidate must ensure election donation of more than HK$1,000, from people who the candidate did not know the name and address of, is given to a charitable institution or trust of a public character chosen by the candidate.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.