ICAC head says a state post offers no immunity, but remains coy on CY probe and his own plans after contract ends
Simon Peh Yun-lu also stated investigation teams faced no pressure in a separate court case ending in a high-profile conviction recently
A Hong Kong person holding the post of a state leader would still not have immunity, and can be investigated for corruption, pledged the head of the city’s graft-buster, Simon Peh Yun-lu.
His remark came immediately after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was on Friday nominated to take up the post of vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
On October 9, 2014, the Independent Commission Against Corruption received complaints from three pan-democrats against Leung’s HK$50 million deal with Australian firm UGL.
Without naming anyone, Peh told the media on Friday: “Regardless of the social status of the target, we will still investigate any case as long as the incident took place in Hong Kong and is related to bribery, corruption and misconduct in public office.”
Peh was responding to questions on whether the investigative work of the ICAC would be affected if an individual under probe secured the post of a state leader.
The graft-buster head added that under the law, he was not allowed to disclose any details of a case to the subject of the investigation.
When asked if Leung ever inquired about his case, Peh shook his head and said: “We both know the rules.”
Citing a high-profile court case recently, Peh said the investigation teams involved shouldered no pressure.
But he refused to clarify if he was referring to former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who was in February sentenced to 20 months’ jail after being convicted of misconduct.
Regarding Leung’s case, Peh also insisted that he was following events closely and there were no delays in the probe.
But he stopped short of promising that the investigation would conclude by July 1.
“All the cases are in good progress,” he continued.
“The Secretary for Justice understands the case the best. We report the investigation progress to the operations review committee every six weeks. The Secretary of Justice is there too,” Peh said.
Meanwhile, Peh also shrugged off media reports that he had decided not to renew his contract, which would expire on June 30.
He said he had not made up his mind yet, but he stressed that he had a happy time working in the anti-corruption agency.
When asked if he would still serve the public if his ICAC term were to end, Peh said: “ Given my age, I think I am not young anymore.”