Top Hong Kong racing trainer jailed over graft

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Former Hong Kong champion horse racing trainer Brian Kan was jailed Friday after losing an appeal over his conviction for offering a bribe in a local election.

Kan, 74, who had been on bail pending the appeal, was convicted in November last year for offering a HK$130,000 ($17,000) bribe to persuade a village representative to vote for him.

The five-time champion trainer ran unsuccessfully in an election last March in Sheung Shui, a village in the rural northern New Territories, close to the border with mainland China.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption launched an investigation after the village representative handed over the money to the anti-graft watchdog.

According to a copy of the 26-page judgement, the high court said the grounds of Kan's appeal "could not be established" and rejected it.

Public broadcaster RTHK said Kan was taken into custody to start serving a 14-week sentence after the judgement was handed down.

Kan has been branded by Hong Kong media as "the most influential horse trainer of his generation" and a powerful figure in the New Territories.

He is reported to have trained 844 winners during a 25-year career.