Activist's call for suicide probe rejected

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 June, 2007, 12:00am

A judge yesterday threw out an application for an inquest to be held into the suicide of the former head of the police force's anti-triad operations.

The Court of First Instance refused political activist Matt Pearce leave to apply for a review of the coroner's refusal to hold an inquest into Stephen Fung Kin-man's death.

Mr Pearce, renowned for dressing up as Spiderman and other costumed characters in public displays of protest, said the coroner had been too hasty in deciding not to hold an inquest, and that it was in the public interest to further investigate the chief superintendent's death.

Fung died on September 8 after he jumped from a building in Kwai Chung while on leave from police duties following an earlier suicide attempt. The Independent Commission Against Corruption had approached Fung as part of its investigation into music concert impresario Abba Chan Tat-chee. Mr Pearce said there were unanswered questions and suspicious circumstances surrounding Fung's death.

'Mr Fung was an extremely senior policeman and the people of Hong Kong have a right to know what was going on. It is clear that Mr Fung was under considerable pressure from other people in Hong Kong,' Mr Pearce said.

'I believe the ICAC has a responsibility to the public to say in open court exactly what they knew.' The application was filed later than the usual three-month deadline following the coroner's ruling because Mr Pearce was serving a prison sentence at the time for intimidating a former girlfriend and filing a false police report.

Mr Justice Anselmo Reyes ruled that the proposed review was 'inarguable' and refused the application.

The judge said: 'His application is pure speculation. There is nothing to suggest that the coroner came to a wrong or irrational decision.'


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