Church of Zion probe attacked as 'too slow'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 August, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 August, 1996, 12:00am

Government health officials and police were accused yesterday of dragging their feet over the investigation into the controversial Church of Zion.

The claim came from Democratic Party members, whose action last month sparked the initial Health Department and police probes into the use of hydrogen peroxide for 'medicinal' purposes.

They say the public is confused, as officials have not issued guidelines warning of the dangers of swallowing the potentially lethal chemical.

And three weeks after the start of a police investigation into the church, they say they are puzzled as to why the detectives are taking so long.

Party members on Wan Chai District Board will today raise the matter as part of a concerted effort to speed up the investigation into the Church of Zion.

Democratic Party legislator and District Board member, Dr John Tse Wing-ling, said: 'There seems to have been a lot of talking and not enough action, we want to know the reason why.

'This issue has been around for quite some time now and we want to know why the Health Department and the police have not yet come to a conclusion. We are talking here about potential dangers to the health of adults and children,' he said.

They say representations will be made at district boards in coming weeks and the party will raise the matter when the Legislative Council reconvenes next month if no conclusion is reached.

The Church of Zion's main area of support is at Fanling Wai in the New Territories, but it has between 40 and 50 cell groups throughout the territory.

Senior Superintendent Andy Tsang Wai-hung, in charge of New Territories North Regional Crime Unit, said: 'I will not place my officers under time constraints during an investigation. We have a job to do in collecting evidence and that will be done properly in the interests of all concerned.'