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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Academic pays out and retracts allegations against Hong Kong ex-chief executive

Academic pays out and retracts allegations against Hong Kong ex-chief executive

Former professor Chung Kim-wah retracts claims Leung had triad links and makes out-of-court settlement plus costs.

An ex-university professor sued for defamation by former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying issued a retraction on Sunday and paid an out-of-court settlement of HK$100,000 (US12,740).

Leung, now vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, took legal action against Chung Kim-wah in 2018 after the academic published an article on Facebook that alleged Leung had links to a triad society.

Chung was an assistant professor at Polytechnic University’s department of applied social sciences at the time.

The article was later uploaded to the now-closed Stand News, which was also sued by Leung.

Chung Kim-wah, a former academic, pays out HK$100,000 and retracted false allegations that ex-chief executive Leung Chun-ying had triad links in out-of-court settlement of defamation case.

The defamation case had been expected to start in August.

But Leung confirmed on Sunday through his Facebook page that his lawyer had received Chung’s settlement, as well as extra money to cover his legal costs.

Chung said on his Facebook page that he retracted the claims made in the article published by him on August 11, 2018, and promised to make no further comment related to the false allegations.

The article had mentioned a dinner at a restaurant in Lau Fau Shan in February 2012 between what was said to be Leung’s government aides and people who were alleged to have triad links.

But Chung admitted on Sunday the article misrepresented that the dinner took place after Leung took office.

He agreed the dinner happened before Leung became chief executive and the attendees were staff from his election office, rather than government officials.

Chung also clarified a statement in the article about a violent incident in Tin Shui Wai in August 2013.

He said his article had omitted the fact that Leung’s administration had issued several statements condemning violence.

Chung admitted that the contents of the article could mislead readers into believing that Leung’s government had been silent about the violent acts in Tin Shui Wai and could also promote a false belief that Leung was a member of a triad society or had ties to it.

“I would like to clarify to Mr Leung Chun-ying and all readers on the above two points and the misunderstood argument of the involved article,” he said.

He confirmed he had agreed to pay the cash to Leung and that he retracted the article and promised not to make any comments related to the two events on any platforms.

Chung added Leung had accepted the retraction and agreed to drop the case.

The outspoken academic fled Hong Kong last April because of “threats from powerful bodies” and fears over crossing “moving red lines”.


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