Clarifying comments

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 April, 1993, 12:00am

I REFER to the article headlined, ''Protection call for witnesses'' in your Courts page on April 20.


The article stated that ''In Britain, all serious criminal cases have to go through committal proceedings during which written evidence would be cross-examined in front of a jury. However, defendants in Hongkong do not have the right to jury trial and written statements would not be cross-examined. There is no point in allowing written statements in courts when we do not have a jury trial system and statements do not have the chance to be cross-examined, Mr Hoo said.'' What I in fact said was ''In England, all serious criminal cases have to go through committal proceedings during which the defendant would have an opportunity to cross-examine all witnesses in front of a magistrate. However, defendants in Hongkong do nothave the right to jury trial and therefore they would not have the opportunity to cross-examine witness in committal procedures in all criminal cases. It is therefore unfair to admit written statements into evidence where there have not been an opportunityfor witnesses to be cross-examined.'' ALAN HOO, Q.C. Central