Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung threatens to sue for ‘malicious’ accusations

by admin on July 14th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Hong Kong chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, wants to sue a popular local newspaper over “vicious and malicious” accusations. Photo: Brent Lewin Mr Leung issued a legal letter to Apple Daily on Thursday over an editorial it published earlier this month, saying its campaign urging newly-elected lawmakers to pursue the leader over the controversial $7 million payment made in 2011 had potential to jeopardise his chances of re-election. Photo: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying has threatened to sue a popular local newspaper over “vicious and malicious” accusations of corruption surrounding a multi-million dollar payment he received from Australian firm UGL months before taking office.

Mr Leung issued a legal letter to Apple Daily on Thursday over an editorial it published earlier this month, saying its campaign urging newly-elected lawmakers to pursue the leader over the controversial $7 million payment made in 2011 had potential to jeopardise his chances of re-election.

Details of the payment were first revealed by a Fairfax Media investigation during the height of Hong Kong’s citywide pro-democracy protests in 2014, heaping further pressure on the embattled leader and attracting high-level scrutiny in Beijing.

Mr Leung has yet to confirm whether he will seek re-election during next year’s chief executive election, but the legal letter is the strongest indication yet he is considering doing so.

“The usage of the false corruption allegation to prevent Mr CY Leung from exercising his constitutional right to stand for the ­re-election … if he chooses to, demonstrates the very serious kind of malicious and injurious motive,” Mr Leung’s lawyers wrote.

The letter also objects to the newspaper’s “disdainful” use of nicknames for Leung such as “Wolf Ying”, “Liar Ying” and “689”, the last a reference to the number of votes from the 1200-strong election committee which voted him into office in 2012.

Apple Daily published extracts of Mr Leung’s legal letter on its news website, but the South China Morning Post said it omitted part of the letter stating that the UK Senior Fraud Office “has decided not to start an investigation” into Mr Leung.

Mr Leung has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over the payment from UGL despite sustained pressure from his political opponents and scrutiny from Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption. The engineering firm made the payment as part of a deal to take over property firm DTZ, of which Mr Leung was a director.

Hong Kong’s Journalists Association expressed “shock and regret” over the potential effect of Mr Leung’s legal action on freedom of speech, while Apple Daily’s chief editor Chan Pui-man dismissed Mr Leung’s complaint as “ridiculous and laughable”.

Mr Leung had also threatened legal action in 2013 against Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist Joseph Lian, who had penned an article linking him with Hong Kong’s triads.

Apple Daily has often run a staunchly critical line against Mr Leung. Its founder, retail and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, has been a vocal pro-democracy supporter and was a visible presence at protest camps during 2014’s Umbrella Revolution.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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