Democrats to sue police, seek judicial review over district councillor's removal from meeting

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 4:28am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 4:28am

The Democratic Party will sue the police and seek a judicial review over the removal of its district councillor from a meeting on Thursday after he insisted it should be open to the public.

The incident set a "very bad precedent" by giving the Beijing-loyalist camp - which dominates the 18 district councils - the power to expel any councillor who disagreed with them, said Ted Hui Chi-fung, the Central and Western District councillor who was kicked out of the meeting. This undermined public supervision of how taxpayers' money was allocated, he said.

The row began when Hui was ordered out after a vote by councillors, who complained that his party colleague was filming the meeting. Three journalists were also asked to leave. At least four police officers carried Hui out when he refused to leave.

"If there was any breach of the peace, there must be a reason given that my presence constituted an imminent danger and caused fear [to those around me]," Hui said, referring to police chief Andy Tsang Wai-hung's remark on Saturday that the police were there to "maintain order".

He said the fact he was not arrested proved he had breached no laws.

The party said many district councillors at the meeting - to discuss the allocation of HK$250,000 to promote the Basic Law - might have conflicts of interest as some were also advisers to or members of pro-establishment groups bidding for HK$150,000 of the funding.

It also said working group chairman Sidney Lee Chi-hang abused his power by denying the public and press access to the meeting without a proper reason. That will be the basis of the party's judicial review application, which it will file soon.