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CS hails new electoral system

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic has lasted for some time. To our great relief, the number of local confirmed cases has remained at low levels in recent days. The Government's multi-pronged strategy of continuously enhancing our anti-epidemic measures and preventing the importation of cases has proven effective.   Apart from keeping social distancing measures in place and mounting an extensive promotion of testing, we have specifically strengthened the manpower in contact tracing as this is a particularly crucial measure in cutting the chains of viral transmission.   The Department of Health's Contact Tracing Office has redoubled its efforts in speeding up the process of identifying close contacts. Their sterling efforts in contact tracing in the gym cluster last month have significantly helped in suppressing rebounds within a number of days. This was a remarkable success.   For this, I must thank all those who have helped, including some 200 colleagues seconded f

Prosecutions free from interference

The Department of Justice (DoJ) today stressed that no one should interfere with prosecutorial decisions which are carried out strictly in accordance with the law.   The DoJ made the statement in response to recent comments calling for charges to be dropped against 47 people who were prosecuted under Article 22 of the National Security Law.   It reiterated that independent prosecutorial decisions are based on an objective assessment of all admissible evidence, applicable laws and the Prosecution Code, without political considerations.   Article 63 of the Basic Law stipulates that prosecutions in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are made by the DoJ, free from any interference. Prosecutions would only be commenced if there is sufficient admissible evidence to support a reasonable prospect of conviction.   The DoJ said that any open demand for immediate release of the defendants in the course of legal proceedings is considered a disrespect of Hong Kong's judicial and legal systems, adding that it also undermines the rule of law and is seen as an attempt to meddle in Hong Kong's affairs which are China's internal affairs.   The National Security Law expressly provides that human rights, such as freedom of speech and assembly, be protected, and legal principles including presumption of innocence be respected and observed, the DoJ noted.   It also pointed out that it is inappropriate to comment further as the case's legal proceedings are still ongoing.
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