Justice chief Elsie Leung Oi-sie would decide within two weeks whether to prosecute anyone over the right-of-abode protest on June 26, according to a senior police officer. Chief Superintendent Stephen Chandler, head of the force's Complaints and Internal Investigation Bureau, was briefing the Independent Police Complaints Council on the progress of a complaint involving police handling of the protest outside the Central Government Offices. Sixteen people were arrested, including seven students. He said police would first decide if any criminal action was involved. 'They [the Department of Justice] are looking at it to see whether or not there is sufficient evidence to say anyone should be held liable for a criminal charge,' Mr Chandler said. Members were told that the complaint file was in the hands of the Department of Justice, which was expected to give its legal advice within two weeks. The police would wait for a decision before proceeding with investigations. 'If they [the Justice Department] say everything is all right and there is no criminal action involved, then it comes to us to see whether any disciplinary action has to be taken against any officers,' Mr Chandler said. 'If there was no disciplinary fault, we will look at the overall handling of the incident to see whether we can improve the service we provide.' He declined to comment on whether the complainant was a student or an abode-seeker. Council chairman Robert Tang SC said: 'I think we would like to have a speedy conclusion. So it is vital that they had legal advice on the matter and I am glad to hear they will be getting legal advice within two weeks.' The number of complaints received by police soared by 18 per cent to 2,735 in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year. Mr Tang said police received 2,312 complaints in the first nine months last year, against 2,177 in the same period of 1998.