Council shrugs off police chief's refusal to recant

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2012, 12:00am


The police watchdog says it will not take as a sign of disrespect Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung's refusal to recant his excuse for officers' tough treatment of the press during Vice-Premier Li Keqiang's visit last year.

Ricky Chu Man-kin, secretary general of the Independent Police Complaints Council, said Tsang's refusal to withdraw his remark - that police were reacting to a 'black shadow' coming at them - was 'not directly connected' to the watchdog's report, which deemed the officers' action inappropriate.

Officers had blocked the lens of a cameraman filming a demonstrator being removed from the vicinity when Li visited the University of Hong Kong in August.

'It wouldn't be logical if the police chief did not respect the report,' Chu said on a radio show yesterday.

Chu said he was satisfied by how the force and the public received the report, which upheld 10 of the 40 allegations against the police. It also endorsed the verdict of the force's internal Complaints Against Police Office on nine out of 16 complaints.

The watchdog's report also dismissed Tsang's account of a black shadow. The police chief said earlier this month that retracting this statement now would be unrealistic because 'a word spoken is an arrow let fly'.

Yesterday Chu also said he hoped the council could observe meetings between police and protesters on the planning of rallies so that the watchdog could make more accurate judgments on complaints.

'I would not rule out the possibility that we may give suggestions,' he said. '[But] in the beginning, we will only observe.'