Tsui to speak out on 'assault' case

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 December, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 December, 1993, 12:00am

SACKED ICAC officer Alex Tsui Ka-kit will today speak out about an ''inadequate'' investigation into allegations that a highly-ranked officer sexually harassed a female member of staff.

The former Deputy Director of Operations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption will hold a press conference this afternoon at a Wan Chai restaurant where he intends to ''openly speak'' about the investigation he played a part in with Director Jim Buckle.

On an ATV Chinese-language news programme last Thursday, one of the alleged victims claimed she was sexually assaulted over a three-year period. The woman said her boss caressed her thighs, hips and upper body on a number of occasions.

She claimed to have seen her expatriate boss caress one of her colleagues, but pointed out the harassment usually took place in his office which was cut off by closed blinds.

She said no one had ever complained for fear of losing their high-income jobs.

It was only when a female member of staff lodged an official complaint with senior officials this year that she made a statement as well.

After an internal investigation, the expatriate officer was transferred to another department, but was told he would not have his contract renewed when it ended in a few months.

The investigation is now closed but Mr Tsui believes the man should have been dismissed and the police called in to deal with the matter.

Mr Tsui was summarily dismissed three weeks ago by ICAC Commissioner Mr Bertrand de Speville under Section 8 (2) of the ICAC Ordinance, an act which can keep the reasons for Mr Tsui's sacking a secret.

Mr Tsui has kept tight-lipped so far but has decided to open the lid at today's press conference.

''I gave the ICAC 19 years of good service and it makes me sick to see the way the commission has handled things,'' said Mr Tsui. ''There have been too many rumours and assumptions; I want to tell the public what I saw.'' His solicitor, Andrew Lam, added: ''This is a serious matter, there has been an alleged concealment of a crime by the organisation (ICAC) which was revealed by the woman on TV. My client believes it is appropriate for him to talk openly for the first time since his dismissal.'' Replying to claims screened on the programme, Mr de Speville said it was not clear if the woman had complained yet because her identity had been kept a secret.

He urged the woman to report her case to police or management for internal investigation.

''If neither avenue attracts her, she should be persuaded to make a report to me. It will be treated in the strictest confidence,'' he said in a letter to the station.

''On receipt of such a serious complaint by this commission, well-established procedures come into effect,'' Mr de Speville said.

''A full investigation takes place, all witnesses are interviewed and the result is placed before an officer of the Attorney-General's Chambers for a decision whether or not to prosecute.'' But the woman said she had already complained to management and the man was still with the ICAC.