Legislators unified in condemning Kevin Lau chopper attack

Police chief criticised for media link comments

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 March, 2014, 3:22pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 March, 2014, 5:40pm

In a rare show of cross-party unity, Hong Kong’s legislators have unanimously voted to endorse a motion condemning the brutal attack on the former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to.

The motion, which was passed in a 56-0 vote, was moved by house committee chairman Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen and also called on police to spare no effort to arrest the assailants. Following tradition, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing did not vote.

While everyone supported the motion, some opposition lawmakers criticised Commissioner of Police Andy Tsang Wai-hung for what they considered inappropriate remarks he made regarding the investigation of the case.

Some also called on Tsang to step down to assume political responsibility.

Tsang had said earlier that he would not eliminate any possibilities but at that stage in the investigation there was “no direct evidence” to link the February 26 attack to Lau’s media work. His comment sparked outcry because critics insisted the attack was related to press freedom.

During Friday’s debate, unionist lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung criticised Tsang for having prejudice and said this could affect the investigation of the case.

Lo Wai-kwok, who represents the engineering sector in the legislature, however said the opposition camp’s attack on Tsang was not conducive to the investigation. He said police should be praised instead for their hard work, which had led to the arrest of 11 people so far.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said: “We understand that many people believe the attack was related to Mr Lau’s media work because he has been working in the media for a long time. And it is a major direction of the police investigation.”

The two men arrested have been jointly charged with one count of wounding with intent and one of theft. They appeared in court on Thursday (Mar 20). The case was adjourned to next Tuesday (Mar 25) and the pair has been held in custody.