Leung under fire over ICAC 'demolition'

Top News | Phoenix Un 15 Jul 2016

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was grilled by lawmakers over the demotion of a top ICAC investigator and the UGL payment in the last question and answer session this Legislative Council term.

Leung said he had no hand in the demotion of former acting head of operations of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Rebecca Li Bo-lan, as her acting post did not require his approval. Li resigned after the demotion.

Earlier, protesters scuffled with police ahead of Leung's arrival. He was also greeted by pan-democrat legislators holding a banner that read "[Leung] destroyed HKU [University of Hong Kong], then demolished ICAC."

The Civic Party's Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu said people have lost confidence in the ICAC because of the demotion incident, adding Leung had a hand in it to avoid ICAC from further investigating him for allegedly receiving HK$50 million from Australian firm UGL.

"You [Leung] will be the next Rafael Hui Si-yan after losing the protective umbrella as the chief executive," Yeung said.

The Neo Democrats' Gary Fan Kwok-wai said Leung was trying to shirk responsibility when the ICAC Ordinance provides that the chief executive is responsible for appointing the deputy commissioner, a position Li also held.

Leung said: "Administrative acting [posts] need no approval from the chief executive. Only formal employment needs approval." Li was named acting head of operations a year ago.

"If I interfered with all tasks of all officials I appointed, I wouldn't have enough time to work even if I had 4,800 hours a day," he said.

He refused to be drawn on UGL but did say: "It is impossible for the chief executive to interfere with ICAC work. In a complaint, the ICAC, the complainant and the person being complained about cannot comment on it."

But pro-Beijing lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chun argued:"The law is intended to stop information from being disclosed, but the case is well known, you should not use the law as an excuse."

The Democratic Party's James To Kun-sun said Leung brought shame on Hong Kong by forcing Li out.

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