Lam snorts at revenge claim

Top News | Amy Nip and Phoenix Un 11 Apr 2019

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor says claims her administration exploited the judiciary in the Occupy movement trial are wrong.

She made the remarks after pan-democrats slammed the trial as political revenge and Gyde Jensen, who chairs a German Bundestag panel on human rights, said it was unacceptable that protesters were intimidated when exercising freedom of speech.

Lam said: "I think those comments are totally unsubstantiated and unfounded, and they will damage Hong Kong's international reputation in terms of our rule of law."

She also rebuked former governor Chris Patten, who said "anachronistic common law charges" were used in a vengeful pursuit of political activities.

"It's meaningless for someone to say whether the law is updated or anachronistic because any law on our law books are applicable," Lam argued.

She also said it would not be responsible if she thought the circumstances were right to restart political reform and acted.

That referred to the European Union urging the SAR and central governments to resume electoral reform in line with the Basic Law following the Occupy verdicts.

The recent wave of judicial cases related to political activism could have a detrimental effect on the SAR's democratic development, an EU spokesman said.

This came as a war of words also broke out between Beijing and Taipei.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said it found the Occupy verdicts regrettable and the decisions highlighted the dangers of one country, two systems. It said Beijing has encroached on Hong Kong's human rights and rule of law since 1997.

In response, Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office said the island was in no position to make comments on the ruling.

Spokesman Ma Xiaoguang said everyone is equal before the law and anyone who disturbs order should be punished.

And 22 pro-democracy legislators issued a statement, calling the nine defendants "political prisoners" and said they will continue to fight for democracy with non-violent means.

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