Informer label query by ICAC

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 July, 1995, 12:00am

THE Independent Commission Against Corruption is considering dropping the distinction between informers and informants.

Legislators have demanded the ICAC draws up clear definitions of the words after its landmark hearing last year on the controversial dismissal of former deputy director Alex Tsui Ka-kit.

At yesterday's Legco security panel meeting, ICAC Commissioner Bertrand de Speville said the commission had been using the words interchangeably and synonymously in its guidelines.

However, Mr de Speville said the ICAC was reviewing its instructions on information provided by informers or informants.

'And that review includes the consideration of whether one uniform term should be used,' he said.

During last year's hearing, Mr de Speville had said one of the reasons for sacking Mr Tsui was his refusal to log his contacts with controversial cigarette trader Henfrey Tin Sau-kwong, who sits with him on the Hong Kong Boxing Association executive.

But Mr Tsui had insisted that he saw Mr Tin as a casual contact or an informant but not an informer, and that he only had to log information as he heard it.

The sacked deputy director had said informers were seen as undesirable, providing information for favours.

Also in yesterday's meeting, legislators voiced their concern over the localisation of the ICAC, especially its operations department.

Their concern came after head of operations Jim Buckle was asked to postpone his retirement until January because the Government was unable to find a suitable successor.

Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun said he feared Mr Buckle's contract would be further extended next year.

Mr de Speville said he was confident Mr Buckle's successor would be a local.