Court standoff

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am

April 27 Magistrate Johnny Chan Jong-herng issues police with a warrant to search the Legal Aid Department's criminal section on the 25th floor of the Queensway Government Offices in Admiralty.

April 28 Police arrive at the department to execute the search warrant but officials from the department claim legal professional privilege, adding that the warrant 'lacked specificity'. Police leave.

April 28 to May 5 Discussions take place between the Legal Aid Department and the Department of Justice over the validity of the warrant. The Legal Aid Department is told to await a 'substantive written reply'.

May 5, 4pm Police arrive at the 25th floor of the Queensway Government Offices with a new search warrant issued by magistrate Bina Chainrai. Legal Aid Department officials say any documents seized would have to be put in a sealed bag pending a challenge to the search warrant in the High Court. Police later leave without executing the warrant pending legal advice.

May 5, early evening Mr Justice Arjan Sakhrani grants the Legal Aid Department an ex parte interim injunction against the police commissioner, effectively blocking execution of the warrants.

May 6 The Director of Legal Aid files an application for leave to apply for a judicial review of both warrants.