Leung Chun-ying

Leung Chun-ying faces calls to form inquiry commission for ICAC row

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 April, 2013, 3:53am

Legislators are calling on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to appoint a commission of inquiry over a former ICAC commissioner's extravagant spending on meals and gifts.

The idea, raised by Liberal Party honorary chairman James Tien Pei-chun yesterday, earned the support of lawmakers from across the political spectrum.

It could be an alternative to a pan-democrat suggestion to make Timothy Tong Hin-ming face a grilling in front of the Legislative Council about his actions during his five years leading the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

In a letter addressed to Leung, Tien warned that the government's integrity was at stake. It was in the public interest to appoint an independent commission - led by a judge - to look into the case thoroughly, he wrote.

Next month, Legco's Public Accounts Committee will hold a hearing focusing on general policies and two lavish dinners Tong approved for mainland officials that were revealed in an audit report. But Tien said the scandal had developed beyond the Audit Commission findings. "Some accusations, such as one that says Tong would not show up in the office until 11am, may fall outside the scope of the committee."

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said people would find it acceptable to have the commission led by a person with credibility. The Civic Party voiced support for the idea.

"If the chief executive invites people such as retired chief justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang to investigate it under the law … I believe the investigation will be open, fair and just," Lau said.