Prosecutors change their tune over Anthony Wong songs

Singer Anthony Wong and former pro-democracy lawmaker Au Nok-hin have each been bound over for 18 months in the sum of HK$2,000 for corruption charges in connection to the Legco by-election in 2018.

The ICAC charged the pair earlier this week over a rally which took place shortly before the polls.

Wong, 59, sang two songs at the rally organised by Au, who later won the election for the Hong Kong Island seat in the legislature.

At the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, defence lawyers called for the case to be settled by way of bind over orders, saying the Cantopop star had played a passive role and wasn’t paid for his performance.

The prosecutors subsequently agreed to offer no evidence against the duo, saying they had taken into account the overall circumstances of the case, the relatively lesser criminalities of the defendants, backgrounds of the defendants and their attitudes towards the charge.

In a statement, the corruption watchdog stressed that providing others with refreshments and entertainment at an election is a corrupt conduct and a serious offence.

“Candidates, election agents/helpers and members of the public are reminded to refrain from offering food, drinks or entertainment during an election in exchange for votes,” the spokesman said,

Au is currently in prison on protest-related charges and is also one of the 47 pro-democracy figures charged under the national security law over Legco primary polls held last year.

Last week, the ICAC charged Occupy movement co-founder Benny Tai and two others over adverts placed in newspapers before the 2016 Legco elections.
Last updated: 2021-08-05 HKT 20:11