Any impeachment of chief executive must be backed by Legislative Council

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 October, 2015, 5:22pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 October, 2015, 5:22pm

The article "Immune or not" (October 9) reported criticism of what I said on the radio on October 6 as being "mere bluffing" and "shock(ing)". Those who commented on it had not heard the whole of my interview on Commercial Radio.

During the interview, I replied to the host's question of whether the chief executive could be prosecuted by stating the common law position of the heads of state and of the governors of Hong Kong before reunification.

The governor, being the agent of the queen, could not be prosecuted in Hong Kong. Even after his appointment was revoked, he had to be prosecuted in the United Kingdom.

In the case of the chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR, if a motion initiated jointly by one-fourth of all the members of the Legislative Council charges the chief executive with a serious breach of law or dereliction of duty, and if he refuses to resign, then the council may, after passing a motion for investigation, give a mandate to the chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal to form and chair an independent investigation committee. The committee shall be responsible for carrying out the investigation and reporting its findings to Legco.

If the committee considers the evidence sufficient to substantiate such charges, Legco may pass a motion of impeachment by a two-thirds majority of all its members and report it to the central government for its decision.

If the central government upholds this impeachment and dismisses the chief executive, then he may be subject to prosecution. Since there is a specific law dealing with the breach of law by the chief executive, such a procedure and not the usual law of criminal procedure should follow - see Article 73(9) of the Basic Law.

This process of impeachment is important. If it did not exist, then any individual who was politically motivated could make an allegation against the chief executive and disturb the stability of the government.

Anyone can disagree with my views, but it is certainly not bluffing or shocking. I note that those who commented on what I said did not make any reference to Article 73(9) of the Basic Law.

Elsie Leung Oi-sie, Central