The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today (December 11) strongly condemned and opposed the false and misleading statement of the United States (US) Department of State against the sentence of the court of the HKSAR laid down in accordance with the law on the fraud case involving Lai Chee-ying. Interfering in the fair trial, the absurd statement has totally disregarded the facts. This is a political interference in, and malicious slander on, Hong Kong's judicial system.
A spokesman for the HKSAR Government stressed that the defendant had fully exercised his right to defend himself and that the sentences were imposed by the court, with judicial power exercised independently, based on facts and evidence after open trials. Also, the detailed reasons for sentence are contained in the publicly available judgment.
The case concerned is a fraud case and has nothing to do with freedom of the press or freedom of speech. As pointed out in the judgment, the nature of the case purely concerns fraud and should not be viewed as being tied with any political considerations, as it would be unfair to the prosecution and defence as well as to the whole community.
Under Article 85 of the Basic Law, the courts of the HKSAR shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference. The HKSAR Government strongly urges the US to stop interfering in the independent exercise of judicial power in, and the internal affairs of, the HKSAR.
In pursuit of its political interests, the US has blatantly interfered in the fair trial by the court, seriously undermined the spirit of the rule of law and contravened international standards and international law. The use of numerous fallacies by the US is nothing but exposure of its hegemonic bullying, resulting in a loss of its credibility.
Ends/Sunday, December 11, 2022