The justice minister has dropped the strongest hint yet that director of public prosecutions Kevin Zervos will step down in November, after months of speculation.
When asked whether his department's handling of the investigation into development minister Paul Chan Mo-po would be affected by Zervos' rumoured departure, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said: "The work of the Prosecution Division is always supported by the whole team of colleagues. Therefore, no case will be affected by the re-assignment or reshuffle of any individual person, in terms of criminal investigations."
It was his first public mention of the possible resignation of Zervos, who turns 60 in November.
Zervos joined the Justice Department in 1992 and rose through the ranks to take over as chief prosecutor from Ian McWalters SC in March 2011. McWalters has since become a Court of First Instance judge, and Zervos may follow.
Yuen last week assigned Zervos full control of any criminal investigation pertaining to Chan, recently accused of a conflict of interest over proposed new town development in northeastern New Territories after reports of his family owning land there.
The department's decision on a possible criminal investigation followed several complaints made to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Yuen said.