Human rights and journalists' groups have asked whether the police regulator exercised "self-restraint" when investigating the force's controversial handling of protests during Vice-Premier Li Keqiang's visit last year.
At City Forum yesterday, Journalists' Association chairwoman Mak Yin-ting questioned why the watchdog had not investigated who told frontline police to "pre-empt embarrassment" to Li and ensure events he attended unfolded in a "dignified" manner.
"By common sense, it can be inferred from those wordings that there was a political motive behind [it]," Mak said
She said the Independent Police Complaints Council report made no mention of whether officers issuing these instructions had breached their power, questioning if the council had exercised self-restraint.
Ricky Chu Man-kin, secretary general of the IPCC, said there was no sign the force "systematically" issued questionable instructions.
Two officers who blocked a TV journalist are to face a disciplinary hearing, while four others got verbal warnings and six were given "advice" in response to 10 substantiated complaints, out of a total of 40 the council received.
Chu said there were only "a limited number" of controversially-worded instructions, but agreed it was "a serious issue".
"I agree with what the public had associated these wordings with," Chu said. "But we have found no convincing evidence suggesting political motives."
Director of Human Rights Monitor Law Yuk-kai said there was "a big gap" between the report's conclusions and the public's expectations.