All parties involved in the alleged bribery scheme engulfing former Hong Kong official Patrick Ho have denied any involvement, after the Ugandan foreign ministry said it was erroneous to link its minister to Ho. Ho, 68, was arrested in New York last weekend. He stands accused of facilitating multi-million dollar bribes destined for top officials in Chad and Uganda. The funds were transferred via Hong Kong and New York on behalf of a Chinese company to allegedly secure oil rights. If convicted, he faces 20 years in jail. Jason Y. Ng, a New York-qualified attorney and member of the Progressive Lawyers Group, gave HKFP his views on the incident.
Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said the government has been doing its best to make the co-location deal between Hong Kong and mainland China as transparent as possible. He dismissed criticism that the co-location arrangement is a “black box” operation, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports. Barrister Chris Ng Chung-luen, a spokesperson for the Progressive Lawyers Group, said Hong Kong courts might refuse to accept any challenge against the plan once it is approved and endorsed by the NPCSC, to the detriment of ”one country, two systems”.
The high-powered legal team of former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam- kuen appears to be ready with a strong argument against a second retrial on a graft charge being ordered at the High Court today. "If a verdict cannot be reached after two trials it really says something about the quality of evidence and the nature of the charge," said barrister Randy Shek of the Progressive Lawyers Group. However, he added, it is not a formal rule and there could be an exception given Tsang's status as a former top official and the gravity of the charge.
With the limited supply and soaring prices of parking spaces in Hong Kong, some owners have adopted the sharing economy model to rent out their parking lots on specific days for a fee. In Tsuen Wan’s industrial area near the Sha Tsui Road and Chai Wan Kok Street, hk01.com has discovered that some parking lot owners have posted advertisements for motorists to “co-park” at their spaces. Duncan Ho Dik-hong, barrister and a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group, said the owner of the space should tell renters of the penalties for parking beyond the time limit and the limitations for co-parking in the lease.
IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok has said that civil groups will look into drafting a freedom of information law after criticising the government for making slow progress over the past two decades. The Archives Action Group, led by former director of the Government Records Service Simon Chu, along with the Progressive Lawyers Group, and lawmakers including Mok will look into drafting a bill.
British teacher and performer David Allen had just got on his motorbike on a busy street in Ho Man Tin last month when he was suddenly stopped by three police officers asking for his identification papers. It was not the first time he had been stopped by police. But this time, Allen decided to record the exchange because he wanted to show others the prejudice he has faced from police. “Based on my own personal experience, on occasion I have been singled out because of my skin colour. There seems to be a racial bias in policing,” he told HKFP.
Hundreds of democracy activists protested outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on Thursday, marking the third anniversary of the start of the Occupy Central campaign for fully democratic elections that brought hundreds of thousands onto the city's streets at its height. Kevin Yam, convenor of the pro-democracy Progressive Lawyers Group, said the struggle for democracy in the former British colony was unlikely to be achieved quickly, however. "This isn't a flash in the pan; it's going to take a lot of ongoing, hard work from everyone," Yam said. "We will have to swallow our anger and work patiently."
Legal experts have hailed the Court of Appeal’s “landmark” decision on Monday to rule in favour of a lesbian expatriate who was previously refused a spousal visa by the Immigration Department. Geoffrey Yeung, member of Progressive Lawyers Group, told HKFP: “[The] judgment is an important step towards equality for same sex couples in Hong Kong. It is a recognition that same sex relationships in Hong Kong are valid relationships.”
Banners calling for Hong Kong independence reappeared in the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Tuesday, prompting the university authorities to issue a warning. Kevin Yam Kin-fung, founder of the Progressive Lawyers Group, said the flyers and posters had merely discussed the issues and did not insinuate or encourage others to harm the regime. Hence, no law was broken, he argued.
As he curled his spindly legs around the metal bars, the sight of the bespectacled teenager with his floppy mop of hair valiantly trying to scale the three-metre-high barrier, along with fellow student leader Alex Chow Yong-kang, galvanised others into action. Another youth leader, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, then on stage at the demonstration, called on the others to join in the storming of the forecourt that they had dubbed “Civic Square”. They wanted to “reclaim” the space that had been the site of previous protests, they declared.