Loss of memory 'a weak excuse'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 November, 1995, 12:00am

THE Chief Justice's explanation that he had forgotten what he said to Xinhua's Mr Zhang was unacceptable, the Democratic Party's human rights spokesman Albert Ho Chun-yan said.

'It is not enough to give a wishy-washy answer,' he said.

If the Chief Justice did not make his position clear, the public would be inclined to believe Mr Zhang.

'Being in such a senior position and talking about such a politically sensitive subject, Sir Ti Liang could not have been careless with his remarks,' Mr Ho said.

Sir Ti Liang had to make his position clear because his job was to protect human rights in Hong Kong.

It was no excuse to say he did not want to be involved in political issues because he was already embroiled in a political row, Mr Ho said.

He is to move a motion tomorrow denouncing the Preliminary Working Committee's proposal to water down the bill.

Liu Yiu-chu, a local delegate to the National People's Congress, said it was imperative for Sir Ti Liang to say whether he felt the bill had damaged the legal system.

A judge could have his views on political matters. But he had to put aside his views when he was adjudicating a case, she said.

'Sir Ti Liang should know his position does not allow him to make careless and immature remarks.' Ms Liu said she did not believe the top judge had forgotten what he had said.

'Sir Ti Liang must explain. If not, his credibility and reputation will suffer,' she said.

But, she said, every cloud had a silver lining. The incident allowed the public to judge the integrity and honesty of a candidate for the chief executive's post. Sir Ti Liang has been tipped as a front-runner for the job.