Lawmakers to quiz security chief over 'lie'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 March, 2011, 12:00am

Lawmakers plan to quiz security chief Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong amid accusations that he lied over the police use of pepper spray during an anti-budget protest on March 6.

Protesters say Lee lied when he told a Legislative Council Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday that officers aimed their pepper spray 'towards the sky'.

His contention appears to fly in the face of television footage and newspaper photographs showing officers aiming the spray at protesters during the demonstration at which 113 people were arrested.

Two boys, aged 12 and 13, were among those arrested.

Legco security panel chairman James To Kun-sun said yesterday he would ask Lee for an explanation at a special meeting on April 8, where members will discuss the police handling of public assemblies.

'Did the police department report so [that officers aimed into the air when using pepper spray] to Ambrose Lee? Or was it he himself who made it up?

'Even if it was the police who told him, a sensible minister should ask questions after watching the videos. If it was a slip of the tongue, he should openly admit his mistake,' he said.

League of Social Democrats chairman Andrew To Kwan-hang, who was among people detained at a police station during the anti-budget demonstration, said Lee should apologise. 'It was an obvious lie, as evidenced in all videos. Ambrose Lee should apologise to the Hong Kong public, not only for the remark, but also for the police's whole planning for the protest. Before Andy Tsang Wai-hung [the new police commissioner] took office, officers wouldn't use pepper spray on protesters without prior warning,' To said.

Tsang said investigations were still ongoing and police would forward the results to the Department of Justice later.

Meanwhile, activist Lui Yuk-lin was yesterday arrested on suspicion of criminal damage during a National Day protest outside the central government's liaison office on October 1. She has not been charged and was released on bail. Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said he was concerned the arrest, made more than five months after the protest, could signal a stepping-up of arrests relating to past demonstrations.