• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 2:39pm
NewsHong Kong

ICAC urged to hand over former chief's case to police

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 May, 2013, 5:09am

The scandal surrounding former head graft-buster Timothy Tong Hin-ming should be investigated by the police, not the Independent Commission Against Corruption, to ensure impartiality, a former prosecutions chief says.

The call from former director of public prosecutions Grenville Cross came amid suggestions the ICAC had yet to decide how to handle the recent complaints against Tong.

Tong, appointed in February as a Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference member after stepping down as ICAC chief, was found to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from the public purse on gifts and lavish meals for mainland officials in his five-year tenure.

"Any investigation into Tong's behaviour must not only be impartial and fair, but must also be seen to be impartial and fair," Cross said, urging the ICAC to "transfer responsibility for the investigation to the police".

Given that the ICAC comprised Tong's former colleagues, Cross said an investigation had to be conducted by people who did not know him personally as a "basic principle of law enforcement" and "to command public confidence". The police had reason to investigate, he said, as the allegations involved an offence of misconduct in public office - an offence under common law.

If the ICAC declined to pass the case to the police, Cross said, commissioner Simon Peh Yun-lu "must explain clearly what steps will be taken to ensure the integrity of the investigation, and to prevent any conflicts of interest".

Alternatively, the legislators who lodged the complaints with the ICAC should contact the police, renew their complaints and ask the force to take the lead in the investigation, he said.

An ICAC spokesman last night declined to comment on any individual case. The police also gave no comment.

Lawmaker Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long, a member of the ICAC's operations review committee, said the commission should stick to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance which empowered it to investigate any corruption complaint. He expected the ICAC to seek legal advice on how to conduct an investigation to avoid a conflict of interest.


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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
the case of Tong Hin-ming should better be taken over by the police so as to guarantee an impartial and fair investigation will be done since a bunch of top officials at the ICAC had attended the banquets offered to visiting Mainland officals by Tong who paid the bill with public money (our tax-payers !) This Old Hong Kong guesses (probably is the truth) this Tong and his right-handed men/women had been entertained with lavish meals and received expensive gifts during Tong's many visits to the Mainland in his five-year-long tenure.So he and his close aides had to well-treat these senior officials from Mainland---a Chinese protocol indeed ! What was wrong with that ? In the eyes/minds of these corrupted civil servants (maybe not just Tong himself). Right ?
I agree with Grenville Cross. The case should be handed over to the police. I like Mr. Cross and thought he was a good DPP.
hard times !
Agree with Mr.Cross that the Tong scandal should be handed over to the polcie which did not have any relationshp with the ICAC as Tong's former colleagues (especially those senior ones) might still in the graft-butster organisation which might influence the impartiality and fairness of the investigation.Yeah,impartiality and fairness should be seen to be done and not just be done ! Well said,Mr.Cross !
This has got to be one of the most embarrassing joke to happen in HK.........second to CY's election farce of course.
Totally inappropriate as the ICAC is the police watch dog. CY should appoint an independent investigator along the lines of the ferry disaster investigation.


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