Hong Kong’s legislature will ask the courts to declare disqualified lawmaker Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang bankrupt, after the activist ignored repeated requests to repay about HK$930,000 (US$120,000) in debt.
Legislative Council president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen made the announcement on Tuesday after chairing a meeting of the Legco Commission, a body consisting of 13 pro-establishment lawmakers who oversee the body’s administrative matters.
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In May, the District Court ordered disqualified pro-independence lawmakers Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching to return HK$1.86 million (US$240,000) paid to them from public funds after they repeatedly failed to attend hearings to fight the claim.
The duo were stripped of their Legco seats in November 2016 after shouting pro-independence slogans and insulting China during their oath-taking ceremony a month earlier.
By then, the commission had paid each of them HK$929,523 in salary and funds granted to lawmakers to set up offices between September 22 and October 28.
Ousted lawmakers Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching jailed for four weeks for storming Hong Kong Legislative Council meeting
Andrew Leung on Tuesday said Yau has made recommendations on how she hopes to repay the amount.
“The Legco Commission will contact her through our legal representative … and we hope we can make an agreement with her. But Baggio Leung ignored the commission’s repeated request to pay up, so we decided to ask for a petition for a bankruptcy order,” the president said.
In response, Baggio Leung said he was “prepared for years” for the president to make this move, adding that being declared bankrupt was minor compared to being jailed for life under Beijing’s new national security law for Hong Kong, which went into effect on June 30.
On the same day the law was adopted, the Hong Kong National Front, the pro-independence group led by the long-time activist, shut down its operations in the city.
Yau could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Last month, three opposition lawmakers were ordered by the commission to pay a total of HK$252,000 in damages for hurling foul-smelling objects during recent debates over the since-passed national anthem bill at the Legislative Council.
Ted Hui Chi-fung, who hurled a rotten plant during a debate on May 28, was ordered to foot a bill of HK$52,000, while Raymond Chan Chi-chuen and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick were each asked to pay not less than HK$100,000 for throwing a smelly brown-coloured liquid on June 4.
On Tuesday, Andrew Leung said Hui has yet to respond to the commission’s request, while Chu and Chan have raised questions about it.
“The Legco secretariat will explain to them how the cost was calculated,” he said.
Leung added that the secretariat will not reimburse the lawmaker’s claimed expenses until they fully pay up.
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