Witness Protection

Customs bodyguards clock in early to serve court witnesses

Protection scheme starts as organised crime on the rise

Thirty elite customs officers, specially trained as bodyguards to court witnesses in need of protection, have been deployed ahead of schedule.

Tuesday, 14 March, 2006, 12:00am

Passing of protection law 'will entice more witnesses'

The security chief said more people would be willing to testify in court following the passage yesterday of a law that would give a new identity to witnesses considered at high risk.

28 Jun 2000 - 12:00am

'Unfair' to deny new ID appeals

It would be unfair to witnesses in the protection programme if they were denied appeals against decisions regarding changes of identity, legislators claimed yesterday.

Under the Witness Protection Bill, witnesses can appeal only when they are refused entry into the programme or when their participation ends.

6 May 2000 - 12:00am

Witness protection doubts raised

The willingness of witnesses to sever social ties should be taken into account when deciding whether they should be eligible for a protection programme, a lawmaker said yesterday.

Under the Witness Protection Bill, a person who puts himself in danger by giving evidence could be given a new identity with a new birth certificate and identity card.

4 Apr 2000 - 12:00am

Bill to protect witnesses due

A bill to legalise changing the identities of witnesses at high risk will be introduced to the Legislative Council in two weeks after an almost three-year delay.

Anyone who discloses the identity or location of a protected witness will be liable to 10 years' jail.

13 May 1999 - 12:00am

Witness bill plan

A law to protect vulnerable witnesses will be considered by the first SAR legislative council, the Security Bureau said yesterday.

The Witness Protection Bill, providing the legal basis to change identities, was submitted to the legislature in July 1996.

But no bills committee was set up and the bill lapsed.

17 Mar 1998 - 12:00am

Witnesses given total changes of identity

Witnesses who fear retaliation after testifying against criminals will be able to get a new identity for themselves and their entire family, under a bill gazetted tomorrow.

But they must first pay off their debts and tax.

20 Jun 1996 - 12:00am

Witness protection outlined

People threatened by triad retribution would have to pay back-taxes and clear debts before being given the benefit of the police witness protection scheme under proposed legislation.

The proposals are included in an outline of the legal framework for changing the identity of witnesses.

29 Mar 1996 - 12:00am

Supergrass law overhaul

TOUGH legislation is being prepared to protect 'supergrass' witnesses given secret identities, with possible jail terms for people who divulge sensitive personal details.

There are no laws to stop people revealing the identities or personal particulars of protected witnesses. This includes names and addresses of witnesses and associates.

19 Nov 1995 - 12:00am

Police can only protect the willing

THE revamped witness protection programme obliges participants to agree to a prescribed level of police involvement.

Under the scheme, launched last month amid publicity urging people to report 'crime in confidence', police will only offer assistance if the witness signs a statement outlining the manner in which officers seek to intrude on their freedom.

26 May 1995 - 12:00am

Managing witnesses

THE pursuit of justice can be fraught with difficulties. Even the best constructed prosecutions depend on witnesses being prepared to testify to the same facts in court as they have previously set out in statements to the police and to their lawyers. Sadly, some witnesses change their minds.

26 May 1995 - 12:00am

Police plan for live-in witness protection

POLICE want to move into the homes of vulnerable witnesses to provide a 24-hour watch under an improved witness protection scheme.

Force management has approved 'personal attention' as the preferred tactic for witness protection in all but extreme cases.

This might mean officers living in flats with family members for an unlimited period.

13 Mar 1995 - 12:00am

Organised Bill

THE Commissioner of Police, Eddie Hui Ki-on, welcomed the passage of the bill, saying: 'The legislation is not a panacea for fighting organised crime but will certainly assist police to take more effect action.' He said steps had already been taken to implement the new legislation, with high priority being given to witness protection.

13 Oct 1994 - 12:00am

Witness protection decision criticised

LEGISLATORS criticised a decision not to set up an independent centralised witness protection authority under the Security Branch.

They were told yesterday that the branch could not become the operational authority for witness protection arrangements.

10 May 1994 - 12:00am

Police witness unit to cost $1m a year

AN annual total of $1 million will be required for a new witness protection unit set up in the police force.

In a paper given to legislators, the Security Branch said they had dropped the recommendation to set up an independent witness protection authority proposed by Commissioner of Inquiry Justice Kempster in his report on witness protection.

21 Jan 1994 - 12:00am