Tsang has confidence in court's neutrality
Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has assured the courts he was not criticising them when he complained about big projects being held up by politically motivated abuse of judicial reviews.
'The chief executive's remarks last Thursday carry no criticism whatsoever of the court,' his office said in a statement. 'On the contrary, the chief executive is fully confident in the impartiality, independence and professionalism of the court in exercising its judicial power.'
But Tsang said he deeply regretted that some lawmakers had distorted what he had said in describing his words as putting pressure on the courts.
The statement came a week after a question-and-answer session in which Tsang made the comment, which was prompted by a court ruling that overturned the environmental impact report on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
Legislators, meanwhile, continued to put pressure on Tsang to make a proper apology.
'The chief executive owes us a solemn apology. He owes the court a solemn apology,' said Alan Leong Kah-kit of the Civic Party, which was seen as the main target of Tsang's remarks having been involved in the judicial review.
Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said at a press conference the government 'should look at where the problem was instead of attacking the judicial system'.
A government official said that in the Legislative Council meeting on May 18, Leong mentioned the case and the name of the judge. The official said it was inappropriate as the case was still under appeal.
Meanwhile, about 30 groups and more than 100 individuals signed a joint statement calling on Tsang to 'correct' his comments.
The groups said the review only helped perfect the environmental impact assessment system scrutinising infrastructure development.