Pressure on Hong Kong justice chief to explain CY Leung decision is baffling
- The HK$50 million received by Leung from UGL was in line with an agreement reached well before his election as chief executive and the payment was above board
- The justice secretary made the right decision in not engaging external expert advice
In his op-ed article (“Why Cheng should explain decision in CY Leung case”, January 2), Greenville Cross urges Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah to explain in detail the basis of her department’s decision not to prosecute former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying.
Mr Cross is a distinguished criminal justice analyst and fully aware of the facts of the UGL case which, as confirmed by the Independent Commission Against Corruption after a four-year investigation, reveal no grounds to prosecute. Hence, his attempt at pressuring Cheng for an explanation is baffling.
The HK$50 million payment received by Leung was the result of a mutual agreement reached between Australian engineering firm UGL and Leung, with the full knowledge and consent of stakeholders of both contractual parties. The deal was struck while Leung was still a practising surveyor and well before his election to the office of Hong Kong chief executive. The payment was above board in every respect.
Accordingly, the justice secretary made the right decision in not engaging external expert advice, as such an action could reflect badly on the competence of the justice department and unnecessarily drain government resources.
Mr Cross could have helped to lay the matter to rest by elaborating on the ICAC’s conclusion of there being no grounds to prosecute, which automatically negates the need for further explanation. Instead, he chose to dwell on irrelevant “briefing out” policies.
Sam Wong, Chai Wan