Bribery trial hears of fierce political rivalry

Updated: 2011-10-21 08:02

By Guo Jiaxue (HK Edition)

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 Bribery trial hears of fierce political rivalry

Famed horseman Brian Kan (right) arrives at Fanling Magistrates' Court with his sons Terry Kan Wing-fai (left) and Lester Kan Wing-keung on Thursday. Provided to China Daily

Fierce animosity between Brian Kan Ping-chee and his election rival Hau Chi-keung was thrown out into the open under cross-examination at Kan's trial for electioneering bribery on Thursday.

Hau, chairman of the Sheung Shui Rural Committee, had maintained a close watch over Kan, as the challenger tried to win over Kan's supporters in an upcoming election.

Kan's defense counsel, Lawrence Lok ying-kam, revealed in court that Hau had recorded some of Kan's meetings and even had a video recording.

Hau, sat calmly, legs crossed, holding a glass of water, as Lok bombarded him with questions.

A former champion horse racing trainer, Kan faces one charge of engaging in corrupt conduct during an election.

The case hinges on a charge by village representative Liu Fu-chau that Kan offered him HK$130,000 in exchange for his vote in the executive committee election.

Liu reported the incident to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) just prior to the election, after consulting Hau.

Kan lost the election garnering by 16 votes to Hau's 44.

The ICAC arrested Kan on March 18, three days after the election, and, after three months of investigation, brought charges against Kan.

Hau did more than just give advice to Liu.

He reported that Kan had tried to arrange meetings through middle men with two other village representatives, who Lok contended were Hau's supporters.

The first telephoned Hau, to say he had canceled his meeting with Kan.

Hau allegedly asked that Kan's meeting with the second village representative be secretly recorded.

Hau admitted in court that he had provided 4 DVDs to the ICAC after Kan was arrested, but refused to disclose the contents of the DVDs.

Hau also agreed that he had asked the village representatives to put off a meeting requested by the ICAC by day or two, stating it's "common sense".

Hau denied he controlled Liu, or the Liu was one of "his people".

He countered that he considered all village representatives "his people".

"I have people's support; everyone is in my allegiance," he told the court.

Lok asked Hau whether he had warned the defendant that he had a video of him. Hau said he could not remember.

But he advised Kan not to do anything illegal, Hau said.

The trial will resume in November.

China Daily

(HK Edition 10/21/2011 page1)