This June 18, 2019 photo shows the Wan Chai Tower in Hong Kong, where the District Court is located. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – The District Court of Hong Kong sentenced 57-year-old former law scholar Benny Tai Yiu-ting to 10 months in prison on Tuesday afternoon for violating an election regulation during the 2016 legislature poll.
Benny Tai pleaded guilty to four charges last month, including illegally incurring election expenses by advertising in local media ahead of the 2016 Legislative Council election
Tai pleaded guilty to four charges last month, including illegally incurring election expenses by advertising in local media ahead of the 2016 Legislative Council election.
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Tai was charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for breaching section 23(1) of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Bill.
Under the bill, a person, other than a candidate or a candidate’s election expense agent, engages in illegal conduct during an election if the person incurs election expenses at or in connection with the election.
Judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on ruled that the starting point of the sentence was 18 months, which was reduced by a third as Tai pleaded guilty.
Kwok reduced the sentence by an additional two months for the period Tai has already been held in custody owing to the delay in the prosecution of his case.
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Tai spent over HK$253,000 in advertising in Ming Pao and the now-defunct Apple Daily in September 2016 to promote his voting strategy, named “Operation ThunderGo”, which aimed to disrupt the election of the sixth-term Legislative Council in 2016 through “coordinated candidacy” and other political tricks aimed at helping the opposition camp secure seats.