Po­lice: No ev­i­dence to back up ac­tivist’s ab­duc­tion claim

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Hong Kong po­lice have found no ev­i­dence to back up a claim by lo­cal ac­tivist Howard Lam Tsz-kin that he was ab­ducted by five “Man­darin­speak­ing” men in Mong Kok fol­low­ing two days of in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Sec­re­tary for Se­cu­rity John Lee Ka-chiu said on Sun­day the po­lice have been con­duct­ing an ex­ten­sive probe, check­ing video footages from sur­veil­lance cam­eras in the dis­trict where the al­leged ab­duc­tion took place, search­ing for wit­nesses and talk­ing with peo­ple with pos­si­ble links to the case to try to estab­lish the facts.

But so far, they have failed to gather any in­for­ma­tion to sub­stan­ti­ate Lam’s al­le­ga­tions. Lee urged mem­bers of the pub­lic with any in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward, and al­low the po­lice more time to in­ves­ti­gate.

Re­spond­ing to me­dia en­quiries on Fri­day, the Of­fice of the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive said it’s in­ad­vis­able to make un­founded con­jec­tures or al­le­ga­tions with­out any ev­i­dence or facts.

Lam claimed that his “ab­duc­tors” also tor­tured him us­ing sta­ples af­ter forc­ing him onto a van on Port­land Street last Thurs­day evening, and found him­self dumped on a beach in Sai Kung early the next day (Fri­day).

He al­leged that his “ab­duc­tors” spoke Man­darin and told him they were se­cu­rity agents from the Chi­nese main­land — an al­le­ga­tion that may trig­ger pub­lic fears about main­land of­fi­cers en­forc­ing main­land laws in Hong Kong.

Al­though the in­ci­dent oc­curred in one of the city’s busiest shop­ping ar­eas, with at least six sur­veil­lance cam­eras in­stalled at var­i­ous shops, of­fi­cers from Kowloon West Re­gional Head­quar­ters could not find any proof of Lam’s claims.

Political heavy­weights, mean­while, have urged the po­lice to find the truth as soon as pos­si­ble to end spec­u­la­tion that may have caused pub­lic wor­ries.

Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil mem­ber and law­maker Wong Kwok-kin said Lam’s ac­count of what had hap­pened has drawn pub­lic skep­ti­cism, and hoped that po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions could soon ad­dress those con­cerns.

He be­lieved that the al­leged in­ci­dent would not hurt pub­lic con­fi­dence in the co-lo­ca­tion ar­range­ment plan for the Guangzhou-Shen­zhen-Hong Kong Ex­press Rail Link, which calls for main­land law en­force­ment of­fi­cers to be sta­tioned at the project’s West Kowloon Ter­mi­nus to sim­plify the im­mi­gra­tion and cus­toms pro­ce­dures for pas­sen­gers trav­el­ing to and from the main­land.

Wong said those who con­sider the mat­ter ra­tio­nally will not link the al­leged case with the co-lo­ca­tion plan.

Starry Lee Wai-king, chair­woman of the Demo­cratic Al­liance for the Bet­ter­ment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), said ac­cus­ing main­land of­fi­cers of en­forc­ing laws in Hong Kong is a se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tion. She hoped the pub­lic should not ex­ag­ger­ate the in­ci­dent as po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing and, so far, they have yielded no ev­i­dence to back up Lam’s claims.

John Lee also said on Sun­day that vic­tims should re­port crimes to the po­lice as soon as pos­si­ble to help them gather ev­i­dence and hunt down sus­pects. He said vic­tims, es­pe­cially those who were in­jured, should not de­fer re­port­ing to the po­lice, and their in­juries might worsen with­out prompt med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

Lam re­ported to the po­lice only af­ter he had had the sta­ples re­moved at a hos­pi­tal on Fri­day af­ter­noon af­ter hold­ing a press con­fer­ence.

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