'Mr X' should face probe, lawyer says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 December, 2007, 12:00am

The apparent improper conduct of senior government official 'Mr X', revealed during a blackmail trial, should be investigated, solicitor Daniel Wong Kwok-tung said yesterday.

'It would be in the public interest to initiate such an investigation by the Civil Service Bureau to look into the matter because this concerns the discipline of a high-ranking government official,' said Mr Wong, a criminal law specialist.

Mr Wong was uninvolved in the trial in which serious allegations were made against Mr X.

During defence cross-examination, it was alleged that Mr X had taken defendant Hui Wing to his office on a Saturday and the pair had sex in his office and Hui had performed oral sex on him at his request. This allegation was strongly denied by Mr X.

Hui also told the court that Mr X had told colleagues that he was going to the mainland on business but he went to Guangzhou with Hui for leisure.

Mr Wong said that if the allegations could be substantiated, they constituted serious misconduct in public office. 'This even leads to a further consideration of whether his name should be made public if the allegations are substantiated by the internal investigation.'

He said Hui had been convicted in a court of law where the standard of proof for an offence was much higher than that required in a civil service internal disciplinary investigation.

'The judge found Hui guilty after he had considered a lot of other factors, and the standard of proof adopted by a criminal court is extremely high. This requirement does not apply to a [civil service] disciplinary hearing,' Mr Wong said.

A bureau spokesman yesterday declined to comment on the case, and said the relevant department would consider if any follow-up was needed.

Mr X's identity was protected by court order on July 31 this year by District Court Judge Mary Yuen Lai-wah.