Lawyers representing former Chinese University of Hong Kong students’ union leader Jacky So will debate whether the law banning inciting others to cast invalid ballots is constitutional, a court has heard.

jacky so
Jacky So. File photo: Jacky So via Facebook.

So appeared in front of Magistrate Amy Chan at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Friday morning.

The 23-year-old has been charged with engaging in illegal conduct to incite another person not to vote or to cast an invalid vote, under Section 27A(1) of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance. So pleaded not guilty to charge.

Defence lawyers Carter Chim and Yvonne Leung said they would debate the constitutionality of the section in question as a “preliminary issue” in the next hearing.

The barristers, however, said if the court deems the law constitutional, So will plea guilty and agree with the case details set out by the prosecution.

The magistrate then adjourned the case to December 1 and extended So’s bail.

Sharing Ted Hui’s post

So stands accused of sharing a post by former pro-democracy lawmaker Ted Hui on his personal Facebook page between October 30 and December 15, 2021.

ted hui
Ted Hui in the UK. File Photo: May James/HKFP.

The post, which was published by Hui on October 29, allegedly incited others to cast invalid ballots in the 2021 Legislative Council election.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption arrested So in December last year, together with a 58-year-old welfare worker named Chan Sing.

Chan pleaded guilty to his charge in August 26 and was sentenced to two months in jail, suspended for a year and a half.

The maximum sentence for the charge, if convicted, is three years’ imprisonment and a HK$200,000 fine.

Hui is currently in self-exile in Australia. He is wanted by the ICAC for inciting people to boycott or cast invalid ballots in the concerned legislature poll.

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.