Anson Chan says Teresa Cheng must go

Local | 25 Jun 2019 11:48 am

The former chief secretary Anson Chan has called on the Secretary for Justice, Teresa Cheng, to resign, saying she bears great responsibility for the current outcry over the failed extradition bill, RTHK reports. 
Speaking to reporters after attending a radio program, Chan said while the Chief Executive is undoubtedly responsible for the entire saga, it might be difficult to find somebody else to take up the top job. 
“I don’t see that we can really help the situation by forcing her to step down. Who do we put in her place,'' she questioned. 
Chan said it would probably be better to give Carrie Lam a second chance to improve her leadership style, and mend ties with different sectors of society. 
“But if someone has to be held accountable and has to step down, I think the Secretary for Justice, as the top legal adviser to the government, bears great responsibility," she said.
"She should have anticipated the furore that will be created by this rendition or extradition proposal because it removes the essential firewall between Hong Kong’s rule of law system and the rule of men system prevailing in China where nobody can be assured of having a fair and open trial," Chan said. "This is what has led to this current political crisis and we need to diffuse this situation as soon as possible”. 
To defuse the situation, the former top official stressed it’s also crucial for the government to set up an independent inquiry headed by somebody with standing and credibility to look into what exactly happened during the major clashes between the police and protesters on June 12. 
She also explained why she believes the government should offer a blanket amnesty for anyone involved in potentially criminal acts on that day.
“I think it’s more important to get to the bottom of what exactly happened on June 12 rather than to apportion blame and punish people involved. The difficulty is that the protesters will claim that they are right, and the police, particularly the policeman on the scene will say ‘I am merely carrying out instructions from my superiors and I should not be ridiculed or held responsible."
"You’re never going to get to the bottom of this without an independent inquiry and without giving an amnesty so that people can put aside apportioning blame and address the real issue”, she said.-Photo: RTHK


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