Conflicts & War

Hong Kong prosecutors drop corruption charges against dissident singer

Shanghai, China, Aug 5 (EFE).- Hong Kong’s anti-corruption prosecutors on Thursday dropped charges against popular singer Anthony Wong for performing in a 2018 campaign meeting of a pro-democracy opposition politician vying for a seat in the local parliament, state media reported.

Public broadcaster RTHK said that prosecutors refused to press charges after defense asked for them to be withdrawn, arguing that Wong had only played a “passive role” in the meeting and had not been paid for his performance.

Subsequently the judge ordered Wong and the politician, Au Nok-hin, to “maintain good behavior” and not commit election-related offences for the next 18 months, with a “blind-over” surety of 2,000 HK$ ($257).

Earlier this week, the anti-corruption prosecutors had charged the duo and said that “providing others with refreshments and entertainment at an election is a corrupt conduct and a serious offence”.

Wong is a famous Cantonese-pop (canto-pop) singer who has been popular in Hong Kong since the 1980’s as the vocalist of the Tat Ming Pair band.

The politician, Au, had gone on to win the elections and secured a seat in the Hong Kong Legislative Council, which he held for a little more than a year.

Au is currently in prison for organizing and participating in an unauthorized protest in August 2019 during the anti-government protest movement that rocked the former British colony for in the second half of that year.

The former lawmaker was sentenced to a 10-month prison term in the case, while he faces another trial for taking part in the unofficial primaries that the pro-democracy opposition held in 2020.

The prosecutors have alleged that this was in violation of the national security law that Beijing imposed in Hong Kong in mid-2020, with the new legislation mandating punishments extending to life imprisonment for charges such as promotion secessionism and colluding with foreign forces. EFE


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