Allegation of cover-up by HKU dismissed
An internal investigation has dismissed an allegation that the University of Hong Kong tried to cover up records of its controversial handling of Vice-Premier Li Keqiang's visit in August.
'The allegation is based on multiple hearsay evidence and, up to this stage, none of this evidence has been substantiated,' a university-appointed review panel reported yesterday.
An alumnus, whom the panel identified as Dr Au Yiu-kai, alleged during a November public forum organised by the panel that HKU management ordered staff members to destroy the records and minutes of meetings related to the August 18 saga after the event turned ugly and the rough handling of student protesters sparked a public outcry.
Au cited a university source for his claim. Upon investigation, that source was found to have heard of the matter from someone else, who in turn said he had learned of it from another source, the panel said. However that last person, when reached by the panel, denied having said anything to that effect.
The panel tried to question Au again but he declined to comment further, the report said. He could not be reached for comment last night.
The panel also interviewed the university management and was told that 'we did not prepare minutes for our internal working meetings or the meetings with the police'.
The panel said it was 'pressing ahead with the third stage of formulating recommendations [for event and security arrangements] and aims to complete its report [this month]'.
The panel was formed in September to review the university management's handling of the event. It has met for a total of more than 90 hours and has interviewed 31 people.
The so-called HKU 818 incident involved alleged violations of civil rights during Li's visit to the university. His arrival led to a lockdown and takeover of the campus by police. The media and students claimed their rights were violated.
The number of protesting students detained by police during a visit by Vice-Premier Li Keqiang to the University of Hong Kong on August 18