Pro-democracy activist Avery Ng found guilty of disclosing details of ICAC probe against top HK civil servant Betty Fung

12-May-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

A pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong is facing jail time after he was convicted on Friday of disclosing details of an investigation by the city’s graft buster involving a complaint he lodged in 2016.

Avery Ng Man-yuen, 41, chair of the League of Social Democrats, was found guilty of three counts of disclosing the identity of individuals being investigated, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.

He was accused of revealing on social media and to reporters that Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee who was the permanent secretary for home affairs between July 2014 and March this year was under scrutiny by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

In his verdict in Eastern Court, Magistrate Cheng Lim-chi said Ng disclosed such information to raise his profile and that his actions had nothing to do with public interest.

“He stated on his Facebook page that it was time for him to raise his fame because of his low popularity,” Cheng said. “After studying the posts on his Facebook, I believe he disclosed the information [to do just that].”

He added that the information revealed by Ng could possibly alert Fung to any investigation against her and prepare her for the process even if the probe was not disrupted.

Ng was accused of disclosing investigation details after he mentioned between April 5 and May 24, 2016 that he had been invited and was in the course of giving a witness statement as a complainant.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of a HK$20,000 fine and a year behind bars.

Citing a past case as an example, Cheng said he would use four months’ jail as the starting point for sentencing because Ng did not show any regret.

The court would seek a community service order report but Cheng stated it might not be considered.

The case is adjourned to May 28 for sentencing. Ng will be remanded.

Fung was appointed in March as the head of the Policy Innovation and Coordination Office, a revamped think tank which coordinates efforts across different government bureaus.

In 2016, she was accused in media reports of a conflict of interest after she acquired two properties in Happy Valley from a company held by Cheyenne Chan, a shareholder of a company operating commercial helicopter services. Fung’s husband Wilson Fung Wing-yip was a civil servant in charge of aviation affairs from 2003 to 2006.

Fung had dismissed the reports as untrue.

Friday’s conviction was not Ng’s first brush with the law. Last October, he was sentenced to three weeks in jail for throwing a tuna sandwich at then chief executive Leung Chun-ying in 2016.


Category: Hong Kong

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