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The Department of Justice Prosecutions Division today released its annual report, which reviews its work and key cases in 2018. In the report, Director of Public Prosecutions David Leung said the accusation of political prosecution saddened him. Mr Leung emphasised that the division’s prosecutors do not seek to secure a conviction at all costs and its role is to ensure that every defendant receives a fair trial. “We prosecute in the name of the public for the good of Hong Kong. We shall do so even though it is an increasingly thankless task. We shall do so amidst tides of criticisms and abuses. “We shall brave the storm, together as a division; and with dignity, fulfil our duty to uphold justice. We strive to do our best to maintain a high quality prosecution service.” The report also noted the division’s efforts in keeping prosecutors abreast of the latest developments in procedural and substantive law and in honing their knowledge and skills.
Hong Kong citizens will be subject to the other jurisdiction’s laws once they leave the city and that applies to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge as well. Secretary for Security John Lee made the remark today in response to media questions about a Hong Kong man travelling to Macau who was arrested at a temporary checkpoint set up on an eastern artificial island of the bridge and taken to Zhuhai. “In a jurisdiction which belongs to a particular place that means the law enforcement agencies can enforce the law within its jurisdiction according to the need and according to the actual circumstances. “For security operations, it would be up to the responsible jurisdiction to make the operational plan and also the other arrangements which include letting people know how they would operate. “In that principle, it would be up to the Zhuhai law enforcement agencies to make that announcement.” He added that people should be made aware that Hong Kong laws no longer apply once they leave the city. “I think it is important for people to understand once you leave the jurisdiction of Hong Kong, then you will be subject to the law of the other jurisdiction. “That is a lesson, that is a message, that is an important legal concept that I think people of Hong Kong must know, so that they will understand at what point they may be subject to which jurisdiction and what laws.”
Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung said that Mainland authorities have jurisdiction over a checkpoint on an eastern artificial island linked to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Speaking to reporters before an Executive Council meeting this morning, Mr Cheung explained that the new Mainland checkpoint is a temporary security measure. “As it is an operational matter on the part of the Mainland authorities, so I am not prepared to comment on that. But it's perfectly justified for them to exercise jurisdiction within their own territory. It's entirely legal and justified.”
The Transport Advisory Committee today was briefed on the measures and train service arrangements implemented by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation to cope with large-scale public order events since June. The committee noted that in response to the recent vandalism of station facilities, the MTRC took measures to ensure the safety of passengers, staff and the railway. Relevant government departments have been in close communication with the MTRC and have requested it to take all necessary actions to ensure the safety of the railway. These actions include conducting safety risk assessments of railway stations, facilities and operations, reviewing existing designs, procedures and arrangements for handling emergencies and making improvements and conducting drills to minimise the possible impact on the safety of railway operations due to public order events. The committee’s Chairman Prof Stephen Cheung said committee members welcomed the measures taken by the MTRC to enhance security and to protect the safety of passengers and MTR staff.
The Correctional Services Department today dismissed a media report claiming that people in custody receiving treatment in Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre were found dead and secretly removed from the centre. The department said that according to the existing mechanism and laws, if a person in custody dies during incarceration in a penal institution, the case would be reported to Police for investigation and the Coroner’s Court would hold a death inquest. Noting that the centre detains people who require mental health care, psychiatric observation, treatment or assessment, the department said Hospital Authority psychiatrists will visit the centre every working day to provide them with mental health services. Correctional officers with psychiatric nursing qualifications will also assist the psychiatrists, it added. The department severely condemned the irresponsible report.
Police used minimal force to subdue a reporter who ignored a warning to stop acting in a disorderly way. Police Public Relations Branch Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung made the statement when briefing the media on the police operation in Mong Kok on December 15. Mr Kong said: “On that particular occasion, his verbal abuse was very likely to cause a breach of the peace at the scene. “So our officer had already given him a warning to stop his illegal act or disorderly act and unfortunately he didn’t follow the warning of the officer. “And after the officer sprayed the pepper spray, he had a bit of physical contact with the officer and so the officer decided to arrest him for obstructing a police officer." Mr Kong noted that since the man had put up a struggle, the officer used minimal force to subdue and arrest him. Reporters should avoid staying close to police cordon lines when dispersal actions and arrests are being conducted, he added.
Rioters have damaged nearly 900 places across Hong Kong since October, Police said today. Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen made the statement during a press conference this afternoon. Mr Kwok said protesters on December 15 vandalised shops and restaurants in New Town Plaza in Sha Tin. They spray-painted offensive slogans on the floor of the shopping mall and smashed glass panes, he said, adding innocent passers-by could have been hurt. In one case, a woman who was confronted by a group of masked protesters was pushed, hit with an umbrella, publicly shamed and had her phone smashed, Mr Kwok said. He noted police officers entered the mall to enforce the law in response to the violence there. “Not only did the rioters obstruct Police’s lawful actions, but they also threw a smoke bomb at the police cordon line. This posed a grave threat to public safety, especially in a crowded and busy street. “We have stressed that no place in Hong Kong is a lawless land. Police officers have lawful rights to enter shopping centres or private premises to respond to reports of crimes and to enforce the law.” According to police records, 897 locations have suffered varying degrees of damage all across the city since October, Mr Kwok added. “This is the number for reported cases only. The full extent of this man-made disaster is felt by everyone in society. “I believe most members of the public have clear minds. You can tell right from wrong, to tell fact from fiction. “Please join us to put an end to all rioting acts and to bring offenders to justice.”
The High Court amended the interim injunction order which restrains doxxing and harassment against police officers and their families to cover special constables, Police said today. The force said since June, police officers’ personal information, including their children’s schools and classes, has been unlawfully disclosed and widely published on the Internet, adding the victims were affected by different levels of nuisance and intimidation. These acts constitute serious intimidation and harassment to the affected police officers and their family members, causing grievous concern over their personal safety and mental distress. Secretary for Justice as guardian of the public interest and Commissioner of Police as a representative on behalf of all police officers applied to the court for an ex parte injunction to restrain people from unlawfully and wilfully conducting such acts. The court granted an interim injunction order on October 25, with subsequent amendments on October 28 and 31. The court ordered it to remain in force until trial or further order on November 8. The court then amended the interim injunction order on December 10 to extend its coverage to special constables. The extended order restrains people from unlawfully and wilfully conducting themselves in using, publishing, communicating or disclosing to any other person the personal data of and concerning any police officer(s), special constable(s) and/or their spouses and/or their respective family members, namely parents, children or siblings intended or likely to intimidate, molest, harass, threaten, or pester any police officer(s), special constable(s) and/or their spouses and/or their respective family members, without the consent of the police officer(s), special constable(s) and/or their family member(s) concerned. It also bans people from intimidating, molesting, harassing, threatening, or pestering any police officer(s), special constable(s) and/or their spouses and/or their respective family members as well as assisting, causing, counselling, procuring, instigating, inciting, aiding, abetting or authorizing others to commit any of the aforesaid acts or participate in any of those acts.
Police today expressed regret over acts that breached public peace, which took place after a procession was held on Hong Kong Island. In a statement, Police said the December 8 event was generally peaceful. However, some participants deviated from the approved procession route and occupied parts of Gloucester Road and Des Voeux Road Central. After reaching the procession’s finishing point, a group of protesters, some holding weapons, occupied Pottinger Street and Des Voeux Road Central. In the evening, some rioters spray-painted the High Court’s exterior walls, threw petrol bombs and set fires outside the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal, damaging government property and seriously challenging the spirit of the rule of law. A group of violent protesters also vandalised shops and banks in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, completely disregarding law and order. The statement reiterated that Police are duty-bound to maintain public safety and order. In handling the violent incidents in various large-scale protests over the past six months, the force always exercised restraint, tolerance and patience. Police stressed that it has all along respected people’s rights and freedom to express views and facilitated all peaceful public events. It appealed to protesters to remain peaceful and rational when taking part in public events.
Teachers should take a clear stance against violence and prevent students from participating in destructive acts, Police said today. Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen made the remarks at a press conference in the afternoon. Mr Kwok said Police arrested 10 males and two females for unlawful assembly and possession of instruments fit for unlawful purpose in Sheung Shui this morning. He said it is alarming that among those arrested, six of them are students and one is a teacher. “We believe that they made different kinds of self-made weapons for road blockage and vandalism. “Teachers are supposed to nurture young talents and groom them into future leaders. “They certainly should make a clear stance against violence and do all they can to prevent students from continuing with these destructive acts, instead of leading them to do so.”