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China Daily Website

HK's ICAC to conduct criminal probe against former head

Updated: 2013-05-14 23:12
( Xinhua)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will conduct a criminal investigation into its former Commissioner Timothy Tong, the ICAC said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The statement said that as Tong's handling of official entertainment, gifts and duty visits had drawn extensive media coverage and complaints about possible corrupt practices, the ICAC made this statement in view of the prevailing public concern and public interest involved though its general policy is not to comment on individual cases.

The ICAC has decided, after seeking legal advice from the Department of Justice in response to the complaints, that its commissioner will lead the investigation on Tong. The team comprises the principal investigator seconded from the Internal Investigation and Monitoring Group and investigators who are either serving or former officers of the Group.

To ensure impartiality of the investigation, the investigating team will seek legal advice from the director of public prosecutions during and after the probe. The progress and findings of the investigation will be reported to the independent "Operations Review Committee" which oversees the ICAC investigations.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Department of Justice said Tuesday there is sufficient basis for a criminal investigation into allegations of Tong's possible misconduct in public office and bribery offenses, therefore the department believed it is appropriate for the ICAC to conduct a criminal investigation into him.

It said although police have the expertise to investigate criminal offenses, the commission is a specialist investigation body, and in addition to its vast knowledge and experience in handling such complaints, has an established internal team for investigating allegations of wrongdoing or abuse by its officers.

The department has not formed a view on whether to prosecute, as such a decision will be made after a criminal investigation is done.

Tong had allegedly spent large sum of public money on reception, gifts and duty visits during his five-year term.

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