Hong Kong police chief will be summoned to officer's 'unjust' disciplinary hearing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2012, 2:56am

The police chief and a deputy will be summoned to appear at a policeman's disciplinary hearing on Monday, to highlight the unfairness of such hearings, a retired officer said yesterday.

The hearing will revisit the case of constable Lam Siu-po, 42, who was forced to resign in 2002 for racking up more than HK$600,000 in stock-market losses in violation of police rules.

In 2009, he won a landmark appeal against the police commissioner. It concluded that it was unconstitutional for the force to deny officers legal representation in internal hearings.

Now the force has called another hearing about Lam for Monday, where he will be represented by retired chief inspector Tony Liu Kit-ming, a former chairman of the Police Inspectors' Association.

Liu said yesterday it was unfair to put Lam through yet another hearing, and that he would summon police chief Andy Tsang Wai-hung and deputy Xavier Tang Kam-moon.

"It is an abuse of process," Liu said. "The case has haunted him for 10 years. The hearings are just never ending." The police had not given a reason for Monday's hearing, he said.

Tsang and Tang reportedly suffered financial losses in the property market when they were chief superintendents in 2002. But they were eventually promoted to number one and two on the police force. Liu said he would ask them to explain how their cases were handled.

Internal hearings for officers with the rank of superintendent or higher are conducted by an independent person appointed by the Civil Service Bureau, while cases of lower-ranking officers are heard by a superintendent. This arrangement breached human rights laws, Liu said.

He plans to apply for an adjournment on Monday, saying a superintendent would not be competent to hear the case if he called upon Tsang and Tang.

A spokesman said the police would not comment on individual cases. But it was understood that a new hearing had been called because the Court of Final appeal's verdict had overturned the first hearing result and did not rule on Lam's conduct.