Tung Chee-hwa has agreed to give evidence to the Legislative Council's Sars inquiry committee this month - but only behind closed doors at Government House, rather than in a public hearing in the Legco chamber. Committee chairman Law Chi-kwong said the arrangement, initiated by the Chief Executive's Office, was a 'second-class option'. It was only accepted after Mr Tung's office repeatedly refused to accept the committee's invitation to an open hearing. The 23 other witnesses so far have given evidence in open hearings. Mr Tung will give evidence to the committee on May 22, but his office is not even willing to categorise the meeting as part of the inquiry. 'It would be more desirable for Mr Tung to give evidence in an open hearing in view of the transparency of the inquiry and the widespread public concerns over last year's outbreak,' Dr Law said. Mr Tung was represented at the Legco inquiry last month by the director of his office, Lam Woon-kwong, after the government decided that it was 'constitutionally inappropriate' for the chief executive to give evidence. A spokesman for the Chief Executive's Office yesterday said the office still held that view. Describing the May 22 meeting, he added: 'It will be a meeting between Mr Tung and the committee, and is not part of the inquiry.' This view is not shared by Dr Law, who said that information given by Mr Tung would be compiled in the inquiry report to achieve transparency. He said the committee was considering whether to exempt Mr Tung from taking the oath of honesty sworn by all other witnesses. 'One of the rationales to take an oath is to provide legal protection for witnesses under the Legislative Council Ordinance. 'But Mr Tung does not need such a legal protection under this circumstance [because the meeting is outside the Legislative Council],' he said. Dr Law said that the Chief Executive's Office was refusing to allow the meeting to be videotaped, but the committee believed there was a need to record Mr Tung's evidence, and the matter would be discussed this week. Dr Law also announced the Legislative Council was launching an unprecedented investigation into the leaking of confidential information from the inquiry. The Ming Pao newspaper on Wednesday published some of the committee's preliminary conclusions. It said that Chinese University academic Joseph Sung Jao-yiu, who had been chief of service at Prince of Wales Hospital's department of medicine and therapeutics, should be 'held responsible for the consequences' of the decision to reopen wards in the hospital during the outbreak. A patient treated at the hospital subsequently triggered the outbreak at Amoy Gardens and across Hong Kong. The committee chairman said he and his deputy, Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, would interview 'relevant' people but not journalists during the investigation. Anyone who had seen the confidential document will be asked whether they leaked the information.