• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 9:35pm
NewsHong Kong
CRIME

Ming Pao offers HK$1 million reward after editor critically injured in 'classic triad hit'

Reward of HK$1m is offered by Ming Pao after motorcycle pair's attack on one of city's most influential journalists causes shock and revulsion

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 4:57pm

Motorcycle hitmen who carried out a "savage" knife attack that left one of Hong Kong's most influential journalists fighting for his life were still at large last night as the city reacted with shock, revulsion and anger.

Watch: Hong Kong ex-editor in press freedom row critical after attack

Kevin Lau Chun-to was ambushed as he got out of his car near a restaurant he frequents for breakfast shortly after 10.30am.

The attack, for which no motive has yet been established, was described by police sources as "a classic triad hit, which was designed to maim, not kill, to send a warning".

It was over in seconds after a pillion passenger got off the motorcycle and launched into Lau with a chopper. The journalist was able to call police on his mobile phone before he lost consciousness as the men sped off.

Last night the police released a grainy CCTV photo of the two suspects before the attack.

Their motorcycle was found in Sai Wan Ho Street, Shau Kei Wan, last night.

The attack has prompted a wave of local and international condemnation, including a strongly-worded statement from Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and United States Consul General Clifford Hart.

Lau's recent removal as chief editor of Ming Pao as part of an editorial power struggle reignited concerns over press freedom. Last night, the 49-year-old was in a "critical condition" in Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan after a life-saving operation on a 16cm-long knife wound to his back.

The injury was so deep it exposed his chest cavity and vital organs. He also suffered another cut to his back and two more on each leg, which doctors say could threaten his ability to walk.

The gangland-style attack - just 100 metres from the police marine headquarters in Sai Wan Ho - moved senior management at Ming Pao to offer a HK$1 million reward for information.

Lau and his family have been placed under police protection.

Speculation has grown that the attack was connected to Lau's journalistic work, including Ming Pao's recent articles about the business affairs of senior mainland figures.

Leung, who visited Lau in hospital yesterday afternoon, described the attack as "deliberate" and "ruthless", adding: "We strongly condemn this savage act. Hong Kong is a lawful society and we will not tolerate violence."

In an unusual move, US Consulate General Clifford Hart issued a statement last night that said: "We welcome the Hong Kong Government's condemnation of this vicious crime and commitment to conduct a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators swiftly to justice."

Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching applied to move a motion for the adjournment of the Legislative Council meeting on March 19 to discuss the attack and its ramifications.

We strongly condemn this savage act. Hong Kong is a lawful society and we will not tolerate violence
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying

Two police sources said the nature of the attack on Lau left little doubt that it was designed as a warning.

One said: "If they had wanted to kill him, they would have." The other added: "It was a classic triad hit. They went for the back and legs to warn him."

Last month, Lau was ousted as chief editor of Ming Pao, sparking a revolt in the newsroom by journalists who feared the paper's editorial independence might be undermined.

He is now the chief operating officer of MediaNet Resources, a subsidiary of the publication.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association said the attack was "a serious provocation to the Hong Kong press and freedom of expression".

Police appealed for witnesses and information on 9255 4063.

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This article is now closed to comments

lenali2003
It makes me speculate if the attack is a mandate made by the mainland officials or affluent warning him be careful of his reports about them.
pwdwong@gmail.com
This incident reminds me of the massive cowardly attack on radio commentor/ journalist , Albert Cheung, in the mid '90's ....such as life we live in this society of democracy ....I wonder???
scmpgt
Who else has issues with journalists other than communist party? Really, who else?
Beaker
CCP orders Triad hit of gadfly. Terrorizes anyone daring to speak out against BJ.
Didier.10dier@gmail.com
Sad news from freedom of speech.
nicoyip123@gmail.com
It is such a blaring act!
scmpgt
HK$1 million buys you next to nothing. And why is mingpao suffering twice by paying money out of their pocket? This cost should be covered by some insurance companies.
dick.wong
Good
BenS
Hope he recover from this heavy wound and help the police catch the criminals. After all there was the story that mainland human traffickers stole a Hong Kong baby on the street under the sun, then it turned out that the Hong Kong mother gave a fake testimony to cover her negligence and crime. Currently I don't believe any speculations in the media as the medias of Hong Kong are wonderful places to brew lies and hates
Dai Muff
That "HK mother" was a mainland mistress blaming OTHER mainlanders. So try again.
As for your comments on the media: "if you can't stab them, trash them" I guess.

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