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Hong Kong Lawmaker Charged With Misconduct

FILE - Lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung. Leung Kwok-hung is accused of taking $32,000 from Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily newspaper.

A prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker was charged Thursday for failing to declare a donation from a well-known anti-China media tycoon.

Leung Kwok-hung, known as "Long Hair", is accused of taking $32,000 from Jimmy Lai, founder of the Apple Daily newspaper. The paper is well-known for being critical of Beijing.

Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) charged Leung, 60, with one count of misconduct in public office - a move Leung believes is political.

Sporting his famous long hair and Che Guevara t-shirts, Leung has served in Hong Kong's Legislative Council since 2004. Elections will be held again in September.

When asked if he will deny the charges, Leung simply said "I'll do it in court formally". He has been released on bail and is due to appear in court Friday.

Fears that China is tightening its grip on Hong Kong have recently been exacerbated by revelations of a Hong Kong bookseller allegedly detained in China for eight months. Lam Wing-kee's bookstore was well known for selling gossipy titles about Beijing politicians.

Hong Kong is semi-autonomous since being handed back to China by Britain in 1997, with freedoms unseen on the mainland, but there are fears they are being stripped away.