Lam slams 'sinners' attack on judges by pro-Beijing politician

Top News | Cindy Wan 12 Sep 2018

It is unacceptable for anyone - regardless of their political stance - to make inappropriate comments on court rulings and judges, the chief executive said yesterday.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's remarks came while replying to a question about pro-Beijing politician Stanley Ng Chau-pei, a local delegate to the National People's Congress.

Ng took to Facebook to say Court of Final Appeal judges were "sinners" following the ruling on 13 New Territories East activists on Friday.

The activists were previously jailed for eight to 13 months for taking part in an unauthorized assembly when protesting the government's Northeast New Territories plan in front of the Legislative Council in June 2016.

But the activists were on Friday allowed to walk free by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, who said they had been subjected to "substantial and grave injustice" when the Court of Appeal replaced their community service orders with prison terms.

Ng had slammed five Court of Final Appeal judges on his Facebook page, describing them as "killers of young people."

This was when responding to the final judgment on Facebook on Friday, as he said the 13 teens should do as they wish and go to jail.

The judge is being an "old softy" to release them and connived in their crimes, Ng wrote.

"How is this caring about youngsters? He is harming youngsters. These criminals showed no regret and are the time bombs of society!" he added.

"The fact that they were exempted from punishment has confused black and white, and adversely affected the whole generation. The judges have become 'youngster killers' and 'sinners of society.' People should think how the rule of law failed!"

In another Facebook post, Ng criticized Ma for saying the previous sanction was too harsh, but not disclosing what he thought a suitable punishment would have been.

Before yesterday's Executive Council meeting, Lam said it is regrettable for somebody to criticize judges or insult them through name-calling.

"It is not the first time I have stepped up and commented. It is not about political stances," Lam said. "It is unacceptable for anybody to make inappropriate comments to insult a judge, or the judicial system, because they are dissatisfied with the court's judgment."

Responding to Lam's remarks, Ng blamed the media, claiming his comments had been taken out of context.

He said he did not understand what Lam was referring to, and insisted the rule of law has failed for a reason.

Exco member Ronny Tong Ka-wah said extreme opinions will not help solve the problem.

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