Secretary for Justice on investigation matters and corruption

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Justice, Mr Rimsky Yuen, SC, after the "Mediate First Pledge" reception today (March 11):

Reporter: What do you mean by the "final stage" in Donald Tsang's case? How long would it take to have the final deliberation, in terms of weeks or in terms of months? Do you feel the corruption rating of Hong Kong has dropped as more high-ranking officials are involved in corruption case?

Secretary for Justice: In response to your first question, it is not appropriate for me to say whether it's in terms of weeks or in terms of months. We are still expecting further meetings to finalise the matters and there are follow-up actions that we need to take, so I don't think I should, at this stage, to say whether it's in terms of months or in terms of weeks. But of course we fully appreciate that everyone is in a way eager to know the answer, but on the other hand, we are also duty-bound to discharge our duties properly, by carrying out the investigation properly as well as addressing all the legal and evidential issues in a comprehensive and proper manner.

In relation to your second question, I don't think there's any evidence that suggests there's any particular increase of the corruption rate in Hong Kong, whether involving high-ranking government officials or other level of civil servants. On the contrary, I think whether by reference to the cases which have already been tried before the court, or in relation to investigations which have been carried out by ICAC. I think the positive sign of the thing is that it shows that the system in Hong Kong is working very well, including the investigation and the independence of the ICAC, as well as the independence in determining whether prosecution is to be made by the Department of Justice under Article 63 of the Basic Law, and of course, finally, the independence of the Judiciary. So I think one should look at the positive aspect rather than thinking that all these show Hong Kong is more corrupt than before, which I would emphasise it is not the case and there is simply no evidence to suggest such a suggestion.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)