Former buildings boss explains decision not to address a Legco committee Former buildings director Leung Chin-man last night said he had taken legal advice before refusing to address a Legco committee yesterday. Mr Leung declined to address the Public Accounts Committee to explain his decision to approve a bonus land grant to Henderson Land for its Grand Promenade development in Sai Wan Ho. He said it was his duty as a civil servant to co-operate with the committee but that it was inappropriate for him to comment before explaining to a government panel appointed to look into the case. He initially refused to appear at all yesterday but he changed his mind after being ordered to do so by Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung. However, Mr Leung refused to answer questions, because he had launched court action. Mr Leung capped a dramatic day last night by agreeing to appear before the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday and answer its questions after it told him he would be summonsed to attend. 'My legal adviser suggested to me that it was not right to comment on the case right now. It was not what I wanted but the situation demanded it,' he said in a statement. 'Like the legislators, I also want the truth to be unveiled and to be accountable to the public.' Mr Leung also said in his statement he was only notified about the Audit Commission's report on the land grant two weeks before it was made public. 'I was only sent a copy of the final draft by the existing director of buildings, and I was told that it was the final version,' he said. 'I was not given any chance to defend [myself] when the Audit Commission conducted its inquiry between April and October, thus the criticism made against me in the report was completely unfair.' The committee chairman, Philip Wong Yu-hong, was confident the legal proceedings would not delay the legislature's investigation, nor prevent it coming up with a report in three months. Under the law, if a summons is issued to someone, they must attend or the president of the Legislative Council may call for a warrant to be issued to apprehend the person and bring them before the council or committee. Legal experts also agreed the judicial review would not excuse Mr Leung from answering questions before the Legco committee. About 30 minutes after the committee hearing began, Mr Leung read out a statement: 'I want to say I have applied for a judicial review to the court on the Audit Commission report. Because the legal procedure has started, my legal advice suggested that I should only speak when time is appropriate. 'Because the Audit Commission did not give me a chance to answer [questions] when it was investigating, the report's criticism against me is totally unfair. I believe I should talk to the independent committee appointed by the chief executive.' The unexpected move led Mr Wong to suspend the meeting for about 15 minutes. Mr Suen said after the hearing resumed: 'Mr Leung is still a civil servant and attends the meeting as a civil servant. It was why we directed him to attend the meeting this morning. From my perspective, Mr Leung has his own identity and has his legal advice on how he answers questions. It is not within my directive ... the constitution allows an individual a right to remain silent.' Mr Leung was invited to attend the hearing last Friday. However, he sent a personal fax yesterday morning to Mr Wong saying that he would not attend as he was seeking a judicial review. The government issued a statement at noon, stressing that Mr Suen directed Mr Leung to attend the meeting.