Leung Chun-ying

Leung Chun-ying won't discuss illegal structures until rival's appeal dropped

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 November, 2012, 4:23am


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Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he will not elaborate on illegal structures at his home until Albert Ho Chun-yan drops a legal appeal.

Ho says his lawyers will ask the Court of Appeal to strike out the remaining legal issue as early as Monday, so Leung could face questions about his Peak properties next week.

Ho lost a legal battle earlier this week in the Court of Final Appeal, the city's top court, which ruled Leung's criticism of Henry Tang Ying-yen for having illegal structures did not imply he did not have them on his own properties.

The top court was responding to an appeal by Ho, made after he lost in the Court of First Instance. Ho subsequently filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal and the Court of Final Appeal. The latter took it up.

At an Institute of Education event yesterday, Leung said full disclosure about the illegal structures at his Peak properties would come after the remaining legal procedures were resolved.

Asked about an exact time, Leung smiled and said "this would depend on Albert Ho now".

Ho accused Leung of procrastinating, given the now slim chance of the case being heard.

"He was either shifting attention away, or he was intellectually challenged," said Ho, a lawyer by profession.

"As the Court of Final Appeal has already come up with a conclusive judgment on the facts, the chance that the lower-level Court of Appeal will hear the appeal is lower than a plane crash."

But Leung wants Ho to formally dismiss all High Court applications. Leung also said that even if Ho did not act, he would apply to the court next week asking for the appeal to be struck out.

Civic Party lawmaker and barrister Alan Leong Kah-kit argued that the remaining legal issue - whether a seven-day limit on making petitions after an election is constitutional or not - looked set to be dealt with by the courts without involving the two politicians themselves. It had nothing to do with Leung's illegal structures, Leong said, so it no longer excused Leung's delay in providing an explanation.

Even some lawmakers from the pro-establishment camp asked Leung to give a public account sooner rather than later.

"An ugly-looking woman needs to, after all, face her father-in-law," said Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing, citing a Chinese idiom.

Wong said continued procrastination would only make Leung lose public trust.

Ip Kwok-him of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong asked Ho to quickly dismiss the applications to get Leung moving.