Owen Au Cheuk-hei, former president of the now-disbanded Student Union of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (SUCUHK), was arrested on the morning of July 12 by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Au is accused of inciting others not to vote by activity in public during the 2021 Legislative Council Election in violation of Cap. 554 Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance─Section 27A,
Au was said to have distributed an online post from former LegCo councilor, Hong Kong exile Ted Hui Chi-fung, who, at the time, was urging citizens to cast blank votes in the 2021 LegCo Election.
ICAC arrived to search Au’s apartment in Yuen Long on July 12. They went through the history of Au’s social media postings. The message that Au allegedly shared, in violation of Section 27A, was the post written by Hui on Nov. 9, 2021. In this particular position, Au reportedly wrote a few unsavory words before reposting it.
Au Was Arrested Twice Before
Owen Au had been arrested twice in the past. The first time was during an Anti-extradition Movement rally in Mongkok in October 2019—the charge was for illegal assembly and possessing objects with intent to “destroy or damage property under Section 62 of Crimes Ordinance, and (s.5) prohibition of using facial covering.”
Au was found guilty of participating in an unlawful assembly in Mongkok in October 2019 and was sentenced to 6-months imprisonment.
The other arrest relates to a charge of damaging property on the University campus during a protest against security procedures.