Hung Hom MTRC project scandal report due in December

Local | 24 Sep 2018 12:18 pm

The Commission of Inquiry that looks into a safety scandal at Hung Hom MTR Station said today that it expects to give its report by December.,RTHK reports.

The judge-led commission held a preliminary hearing at the Tsuen Wan Law Courts Building this morning, but the second member of the panel, veteran British engineer Peter Hansford was absent.

The commission’s chairman, former Court of Final Appeal judge Michael Hartmann, said the substantive hearing can only start on October 22 to accommodate the schedule of Hansford, who is the UK government's chief construction adviser.

Hartmann stressed that the delay has been kept to the minimum and it is not due to the lax approach of any parties.

The retired High Court judge added that he and the commission’s legal team had gone on a site visit to Hung Hom station last Friday to have a "walk-around-and-feel” about the station before starting any debates.

About a total of 30 legal representatives representing the commissioner, the government, the MTR, the project’s main contractor Leighton and two other subcontractors attended the preliminary session.

In his opening address, Senior Counsel Ian Pennicott, who is representing the commission, reminded that the panel has a wide statutory power and in the final report to the Chief Executive, the commission can hold any one, including private companies, found wanting to account and make recommendations that will have long term impact.

The commission has been tasked to investigate whether steel reinforcement fixing works at the station – which is still under construction – has been carried out in line with specifications. The panel will also probe if there are any inadequacies in the MTR Corporation's management and supervision system as well as the government's monitoring role.

During the proceedings, the commission said that the substantive hearings will start on October 22 and it intends to conclude the hearings in December.

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